2023 is a decisive year for the future of ‘stand-alone’ fossil fuel boilers in Europe. The European Commission and EU Member States have a unique opportunity to phase out sales of these highly polluting appliances using ecodesign rules. The moment to act on domestic heating and secure Europe’s climate neutral future has arrived.
Water and space heating accounts for 80% of household energy consumption in Europe – with more than half of this generated by fossil fuels. If no new gas or oil heaters are placed on the market from 2025, the EU will benefit from annual emission savings of 110 million tonnes of CO2 by 2050 – a dramatic reduction, which will also limit our reliance on foreign fossil fuel imports.
New boilers can have a lifespan of 20-25 years. So, for Europe to reach climate neutrality by 2050, fossil fuel boilers would need to stop being installed by 2025.
In its REPowerEU and EU Save Energy plans, the European Commission hinted at the possible phasing out of sales of ‘stand-alone’ fossil fuel boilers from 2029. A greener future for domestic heating is in sight.
Decarbonising heating using ecodesign rules
Adopted in 2013, the ecodesign and energy labelling regulations for space and water heaters provide a framework through which energy efficient appliances could be guaranteed. These regulations have been under review since 2018, with 2023 an important year in the (very much delayed) revision timeline.
This legislation could completely phase out ‘stand-alone’ fossil fuel boilers in Europe. Raising the energy efficiency threshold of heating appliances to 115% would introduce a de facto ban on the sale of new ‘stand-alone’ fossil fuel boilers, which would simply no longer meet energy efficiency requirements, and so would be pushed off the market.
27 April 2023: Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Consultation Forum
Ahead of the final vote further down the road, the European Commission has called for an extraordinary Consultation Forum on 27 April. Experts from Member States, and other stakeholders, are invited to share their views on ecodesign and energy labelling regulations for space and water heaters.
This meeting will give us an insight into the positions of all stakeholders. Which Member States want to phase out ‘stand-alone’ fossil fuel boilers and reach climate neutrality in 2050? Which do not?
Member States will have a unique opportunity to ensure there is no future for ‘stand-alone’ fossil fuel boilers.
Ten EU countries have already made plans to ban the installation of new oil and gas boilers in buildings. Others are also moving in the same direction. National governments are clearly ready to play a role in the transition to clean energy. It is time to reinforce this at European level.
Europe must not squander this golden opportunity. Net zero by 2050 cannot be achieved without decarbonising domestic heating – and fast. Mature renewable heating technologies, such as heat pumps, are available and becoming rapidly more accessible. There is no reason to delay.
Coolproducts campaigners call on national governments to be bold at this Consultation Forum and signal their support for raising the energy efficiency threshold of heating appliances to 115% in Europe.
Let’s phase out sales of ‘stand-alone’ fossil fuel boilers as quickly as possible, once and for all.