Brussels, April 3 2017
The European Heating Industry (EHI), and the European Partnership for Energy and the Environment (EPEE) held an innovative and collaborative workshop on 30 March, bringing together stakeholders from the heating and cooling sectors, upstream and downstream players in the building sector (installers, consumers, energy suppliers, etc.), as well as financial institutions. Participants held several brainstorm sessions to discuss the factors that slow down the modernisation of heating & cooling equipment and to identify concrete ideas and solutions on how to overcome them.
Heating and Cooling have been identified and projected in the long-term as the EU’s biggest energy consuming sectors and therefore have a key role to play when it comes to achieving the EU’s energy and climate goals. Nonetheless, despite a general political consensus that energy efficiency is key in this regard, the reality on the ground does not reflect this.
“The technologies for highly efficient and renewable heating and cooling exist today. To reach Europe’s climate goals we need to overcome the barriers that prevent the modernisation of inefficient equipment: lack of awareness at consumer level, lack of financing instruments, inertia when it comes to energy efficiency improvements.” explained Federica Sabbati, EHI’s Secretary General, to introduce the workshop.
Andrea Voigt, Director General of EPEE, stressed that a “holistic and system-based approach, taking into account low hanging fruit such as inspections, maintenance, service, and monitoring of heating and cooling equipment will benefit consumers and ensure a rapid improvement in energy efficiency”.
The workshop helped to identify concrete ideas on how to promote the modernisation of installed heating and cooling equipment in Europe, which is largely old and inefficient. Among the solutions identified are:
A more active role for industry, public administrations, and consumer organisations in tackling consumers’ knowledge gap, by using interactive and innovative communications tools;
Trigger change at local community level via an interlinked and coordinated campaign involving cities, industry, consumers, and installers;
Create financing schemes through community funds and engage with the green mortgage / financial instruments of the private banking sector.
Together, EHI and EPEE represent the vast majority of Europe’s heating and cooling industry and look forward to further developing the concrete ideas identified during the workshop. The ongoing discussions on various energy policies – the Energy Efficiency Directive, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, the Energy Labelling Directive, etc. – provide a great opportunity to drive the much needed modernisation of heating and cooling equipment.
Federica Sabbati, EHI
Andrea Voigt, EPEE