Heating is an essential sector to decarbonise if we are to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 as pledged by European leaders. 28% of the total energy consumed in the EU is used in space and water heating. Currently, 75% of the energy produced for heating currently comes from fossil fuels (gas, oil and coal).
Despite ambitious EU targets for carbon neutrality by 2050, and a 55% reduction target by 2030, the European Commission’s draft revision to ecodesign regulation would allow the continued sale and installation of new gas boilers in the EU for at least the next decade.
This means that there could be millions of fossil-fuel boilers in European homes well into the 2050s – (by which time the EU is supposed to have reached Net Zero). There are currently around 129 million boilers (of all types) installed in the EU. More than 50% of which are very inefficient, ranked in C or lower energy classes in the Energy Label. More than 80% of all space heating equipment installed in Europe is fired by fossil sources.
Last May, the International Energy Agency (IEA) recommended the introduction of bans on new fossil fuel boilers to start being introduced globally in 2025. Permitting the sale of fossil fuel boilers and heaters in the EU after that year risks undermining the efforts that several member states are making towards preventing new sales of old, polluting heating technology.
Warming up our homes without heating up the planet is possible: technologies such as heat pumps or district heating can do the job in a much cleaner way. However, only about 17.3% of the heating appliances installed in European homes are powered by electricity or use clean technologies.
Member state experts will discuss the proposals on 27-28 September – followed by a vote in the coming months. It’s the moment to spread the message: fossil fuel boilers must be a thing of the past!
A letter (available here) – signed by 30 businesses, NGOs and city representatives – has been sent to VP Frans Timmermans calling for a phase-out to the sale of new fossil fuel boilers.