31 Mar 17

EU energy label for biomass and coal burning boilers paves the way for less polluting heating

Brussels – 31 March 2017

From 1 April, all solid fuel boilers in EU stores will display the new energy label to help  consumers choose the most energy-efficient products.

Chloé Fayole, campaign expert at Coolproducts, said:

This is great news, especially considering the increasing popularity of biomass and coal burning boilers. European consumers will benefit from transparent and comparable information which will help them make the right choice for the environment and cut fuel consumption”.  

But toxic particulate emissions from this type of residential heating will not decrease until 2020, when the new ecodesign measures come into force.

With more than 436,000 units sold in the EU in 2010, the stock is expected to increase from 5.26 million units in 2010 to 6.92 million units in 2025. [1]

However, these boilers are currently not covered by any European product-specific legislation. This is despite their toxic air pollutant emissions – above all, particulate matter – and high energy consumption.

Improving the energy efficiency of these products will also ensure a more sustainable use of the limited biomass resources in Europe, reduce their impact on the environment and increase the security of energy supply.

While the energy label will cover the environmental impact relating to energy consumption, providing useful information on the efficiency of different articles, the ecodesign directive will also address air pollution. The directive will set minimum mandatory requirements in 2020 and remove from the market the least energy-efficient and most polluting products.

Chloé Fayole added:

The label is an important step towards a more energy-efficient Europe, but we need Ecodesign measures to curb harmful emissions. According to the World Health Organisation, each year 61,000 die prematurely due to air pollution from residential heating with wood and coal in Europe. [2] This has to stop.”


Notes to Editors

·         European institutions struck a deal on 21 March to revert to the original A-G closed scale for the EU Energy Label, getting rid of confusing pluses (A+, A++, A+++). But while re-scaling for certain heating products could take place after 2030, the new energy label will cover solid fuel central heating systems from today.  

·         Thanks to the energy label and ecodesign measures, the European Commission expects to reduce energy consumption by 0.4 Mtoe and avoid 0.2 metric tons of C02 emissions by 2030. It also estimated a reduction in particulate emissions of these products by at least 60% by 2040.

·         The Coolproducts campaign is a coalition of European NGOs, including ECOS and the European Environmental Bureau, working to ensure that energy efficiency labelling and legislation encouraging the environmentally friendly design of new products truly work for European citizens and governments.

[1] http://ec.europa.eu/smart-regulation/impact/ia_carried_out/docs/ia_2015/swd_2015_0092_en.pdf

[2] http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/271836/ResidentialHeatingWoodCoalHealthImpacts.pdf


Mauro Anastasio, Communications Officer at the European Environmental Bureau

[email protected] – +32 (0) 2 274 10 87