EU negotiators reached a deal tonight to phase out fossil fuel boilers in all buildings by 2040. If this is reflected in the final text, it is a major step towards the decarbonisation of heating.
The agreement on the EU’s ‘Energy Performance of Buildings’ law mandates zero emissions from fossil fuels for all new buildings by 2030, and for all buildings by 2050.
Thomas Nowak, secretary general of the European Heat Pump Association commented:
“Setting a date for ending fossil fuel heating in Europe’s buildings provides crucial clarity for consumers and charts the path for the heating sector. It makes any investment in heat pump solutions a future-proof choice.
“Thanks to this agreement, people will be able to decide in favour of heat pumps with confidence. The industry is ready to meet this demand. With more than 7 billion Euro to be invested by 2025, sufficient manufacturing and installation capacity is available. At the same time, thousands of additional jobs will be created in Europe, on top of the current 170,000. Electrified buildings will actively help to stabilise the renewables-based grids of the future.”
The deal also establishes minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) which will apply to the worst performing buildings first. This is an important step to make sure all buildings are heat pump ready. What’s more, renovating the most badly insulated buildings first will provide healthier and more comfortable homes to the most vulnerable households. The affordability of these measures is ensured through the support of the Social Climate Fund. As also agreed in the deal, one stop shops should be established to support all users, ensuring proper technology selection and quality installations.
With tonight’s decision, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive sets the pace. The baton now needs to be passed to the negotiators of the EU Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Regulation. They need to establish ambitious energy efficiency requirements for appliances, including heating and hot water systems. This will provide guidance on the highly efficient heating and cooling solutions for installers and end-users .
The compromise agreement backs those ten EU countries that have already announced bans on oil and gas for heating.
As a next step to accelerate building decarbonisation, the European Commission will publish a EU Heat Pump Action Plan in early 2024. This plan will present details for an accelerated deployment of heat pump-based solutions. It has included input by the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) and 22 other organisations (More information on the EU Heat Pump Accelerator here.
An ambitious EPBD protects European citizens from the uncertainty of volatile fossil energy prices by shifting heating of ever more efficient buildings to renewables. A win for society and the climate.