EHI takes its #heatefficiently message to the European Parliament

Brussels – 31 January 2017
Members of the European Parliament are about to officially start their negotiations on the different legislative files of the Clean Energy Package, which was launched in November last year. The timing was right for EHI to engage in a direct exchange with the European Parliament. Together with association of the German heating Industry BDH, EHI organized a breakfast meeting for Members of the European Parliament and their advisors on the topic of “Promoting energy efficient and renewable heating in our buildings: The role of the “Clean Energy for all Europeans” package”.

MEP Herbert Reul, who hosted the event, highlighted in his opening remarks the importance of residential heating as a large energy consumer in the EU. BDH CEO Andreas Luecke outlined how the challenge of modernising the heating sector is a challenge that is shared for both individual and district heating, as both need to become more efficient and more renewable to meet the EU’s 2030 climate targets.

Mr Luecke offered a reality check by reminding participants that there are 120 million – mainly gas, but in some markets also oil – boilers, of which only about 25% can be considered as ‘state of the art’, i.e. using the condensing technology. Put differently, there are 80 million installed heating appliances in the EU which are old and inefficient. This is bad news, but also presents a major opportunity for putting the ‘energy efficiency first’ principle into practice. How? The EU Clean Energy Package can help to boost the rate at which consumers are currently replacing these inefficient heating appliances.

In her remarks, EHI Secretary General Federica Sabbati outlined the scenario of a 2016 study by Ecofys, whereby a 25% increase of the replacement rate of heating appliances with a mix of high-efficiency and renewable technologies keeps the EU on track to meet its climate ambitions. To be clear, the Clean Energy Package will need to include some dedicated policies to help accelerate the replacement of these old and inefficient appliances.

For example, the review of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive could improve the awareness of consumers about the inefficiency of their heating systems by introducing an energy label for the installed stock. The Renewable Energy Directive can push renewable heating by requiring Member States to introduce a mandatory share of renewable energy in new buildings and buildings undergoing a major renovation.

The proposal for a new Market Design for the electricity market opens an opportunity for consumers to make their heating ‘smart’: new technologies such as smart thermostats and hybrid heat pumps – combining an electric heat pump with a condensing boiler – can enable consumers to play their part in demand side management, by responding to variable electricity prices.

In her response, Marie Donnelly, Director in the Energy Directorate-General of the European Commission, endorsed raising the awareness of consumers about the (in)efficiency of their heating system as a key priority for the Clean Energy Package.

The Danish Member of the European Parliament, Bendt Bendtsen, who was recently appointed as the Parliament’s rapporteur on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, identified his main priority, namely helping consumers to finance improvements in the energy performance of their homes.

Mr Andreas Luecke (CEO BDH), MEP Herbert Reul, Ms Federica Sabbati (EHI Secretary-General))
Mr Andreas Luecke (CEO BDH), MEP Herbert Reul, Ms Federica Sabbati (EHI Secretary-General))
MEP Bendt Bendtsen, Mr Andreas Luecke (CEO BDH)
MEP Bendt Bendtsen, Mr Andreas Luecke (CEO BDH)
EHI takes its #heatefficiently message to the European Parliament
EHI takes its #heatefficiently message to the European Parliament