For the third year in row, the heating and cooling industry is sending positive signals about a green energy transition. Without prompts from legislation, companies have nonetheless begun the clean transition walk, and now they need policymakers to match their efforts with the legal talk.
After the 2023 edition of “The Coolest Heating Award” – the NGO award for industry players committed to a fossil-free future, 17 leading companies are joining NGOs in calling for the end of subsidies, and eventually the sale, of fossil fuel boilers.
These leaders are: ABORA SOLAR, BOOSTHEAT, CALPAK, CTA, ECOFOREST, FUJITSU, GLEN DIMPLEX, INNOVA, KRONOTERM, LG ELECTRONIC, MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC EUROPE, NIBE, OCHSNER, PANASONIC, STIEBEL ELTRON, TERMO SHOP, TNG-AIR.
Out with the fossilised technology…
Currently, 40% of EU gas imports are used for buildings and its energy consumption, the majority of which goes to heating. As long as 75% of European houses continue to rely on archaic boilers based on fossil fuels, European citizens will continue to be dependent on a finite, polluting, and insecure source of energy to warm their homes.
Phasing out the old technology is an important step towards European security, energy independence, resilience against current and future crises, and mitigation of the impacts fossil fuels have on climate and society. Based on an NGO audit of the European Commission’s database , 38 future-forward industry players were quick to see this and have already taken actions in offering a fossil-free product line.
…In with the renewable
The support of industry flags hopeful signals ahead of key moments in new EU laws in the making.
The upcoming months will see the finalisation of the recast of both the Energy Efficiency Directive and Energy Performance of Buildings Directive as well as the Ecodesign and Energy Labelling regulations for heating systems. The EU is equipped with right toolkits to grab the golden opportunity to decarbonise the bloc’s heating.
If successful, these advancements towards renewable heating will be critical in achieving many climate, energy and security targets on both EU and national levels. By phasing out gas boilers alone, according to a recent Coolproducts study , the EU on average can reduce as much as 21% Russian gas import, far beyond the voluntary agreement set out by REPowerEU – Europe’s answer to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Additionally, many member states stand to benefit in terms of meeting the objectives of their national climate and energy plans, setting the EU on track closer to the 55% reduction target for emissions by 2030. For some countries, like Hungary, this phase-out would clear as much as 65% of the greenhouse gas emission target.
Renewable heating represents, together with building renovation and other energy efficiency measures, the best-placed solution to reach many of Europe’s security, energy and climate goals in time. If properly designed, the different pieces of legislation would help align Europe’s objectives, financial incentives, training and restrictions towards a fossil-free heating future.
Industrial players have taken the first steps towards more reliable, more efficient, and more affordable heating for Europe. Legislators are called on to strongly support the clean heat transition, support leaders, and match these companies stride for stride.