Shifting as little as half of the annual €3.2 billion fossil heating subsidies paid by Member States to heat pumps can transition Europe to 100% renewable heat by 2040 – shows the new Coolproducts report released today by the European Environmental Bureau (EEB).
The research reveals that a manageable extra investment totaling €21 billion  over the upcoming decade and a half will ensure a fairer and cleaner energy landscape for all: a 7-year payback for all citizens installing heat pumps and full upfront cost coverage for families in need . With carbon taxation, the investment can be scaled back to €14 billion.
The study also analyses the first 12 draft National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) presented by Member States and finds that ambition in decarbonising heating and cooling is lacking in most of them.
Other significant findings include:
It is cheaper to use a heat pump than running a gas or oil boiler in all Member States, except for Belgium where solar power is needed to breakeven.
With current subsidies, 16 Member States already have access to affordable heat pumps that payback within 7 years from the first investment, including Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland and the Nordics.
Belgium, Ireland and the Netherlands are the least ambitious in setting targets for renewable energy share in heating and cooling, all aiming for below 10%.
Italy and Poland still generously subsidise fossil heating and installation of new boilers. Belgium continue to support to coal heating technology in some forms.
The report paints a vivid picture of the potential for an energy-efficient and cost-effective solution to energy poverty, a problem which one in four EU household grapples with , aggravated by outdated, expensive fossil fuel heating systems.
Davide Sabbadin, Deputy Policy Manager for Climate at the EEB said:
“A future with fossil heating has left and will leave many out in the cold. The EU and its Member States must put an end to the old fossil technologies and shift funds towards alternatives like heat pumps, solar energy and district heating, offering a more affordable and sustainable reality for vulnerable households.”
Note to editors:
 See figure 11 for full break down of the investment needed per country.
 Researchers estimated this to be 30% of households in Europe with fossil fuel boilers