Powering our buildings: how policies can support energy efficiency through buildings electrification


Building renovation
Smart building and technologies
Efficient and resilient energy system

FIRE and IEECP are pleased to launch a new study on the electrification of the EU building stock. 

The electrification of energy consumption, primarily in buildings, will soon play a fundamental role as it represents a valid solution for increasing energy security and decarbonize the EU building sector.

According to the annual World Energy Outlook 2021 by IEA, electricity is taking on an ever-more central role in the lives of consumers and, for an increasing number of households, it promises to become the energy source on which they rely for all their everyday needs: mobility, cooking, lighting, heating, and cooling.

According to European Commission figures, buildings are responsible for about 40% of the EU’s total energy consumption, for more than 50% of the EU’s gas demand in end uses – amounting to almost the gas imports from Russia in recent years – and for 36% of its greenhouse gas emissions from energy. It is estimated that as many as 75% of European buildings are energy inefficient, meaning that much of the energy used in them is wasted. 85-95% of the buildings that exist today will still be standing in 2050.

Electrification of the European building stock can lead to multiple benefits other than energy savings. The focus on non-energy benefits, especially better comfort, healthier and more sustainable homes, public spaces and workplaces, and reduced energy poverty can help stimulate demand for a host of programmes including building renovation efforts. The last report produced by the Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions Group (EEFIG, established by EC Directorate-General for Energy) underlines the multiple benefits of energy efficiency with a focus on building sector.

According to a study performed by the European Climate Foundation and Cambridge Econometrics, Europe could cut its annual spending on gas imports by 15 billion in 2030 and 43 billion in 2050.

FIRE and IEECP, sponsored by ENEL, have carried out the study ” Powering our buildings: how policies can support energy efficiency through buildings electrification” which analyses the barriers to electrification of buildings (such as the lack of competence of operators and the reticence of end-users to switch to these technologies) and collects specific policy proposals to overcome them.

Starting from these premises -and thanks to over 25 dedicated interviews performed with regulators, manufacturers, researchers, utilities and associations-, the study provides an insight on:

  • The main technologies available to electrify and decarbonise the EU building stock.
  • The main barriers that hamper the deployment of such electrification technologies and place at risk the targets set by the Green New Deal and the REPowerEU programmes, including lack of access to finance, lack of awareness, bureaucracy and tariff’s barriers, among others.
  • The main policy options available at EU and national level to increase the efficient electrification of the EU building stock and its urgent decarbonisation in line with the current and future acquis comunitario and its targets. Such policy options cover 5 main blocks implemented into a policy matrix addressing suggested actions at EU policy level, including: (1) supply chains, (2) renovation rate & phase-out of fossil fuels, (3) end users, (4) regulatory framework, and (5) grids and networks.

The launch webinar was recorded and is available below fore replay:


Powering our buildings Electrification technologies and barriers, Dario Di Santo – FIRE

Policy proposale to promote and implement electrification in the building sector, Ivana Rogulij – IEECP

Repowering our buildings: the EU perspective, Silvia Rezessy – Policy Officer, DG ENERGY


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