The EU wants to curb emissions. After the combustion cars, it can be the turn of the gas boilers.
The day after tomorrow, April 27, the European Commission will discuss in a consultative forum with Member States, industry and civil society its proposal to end the sale of new fossil fuel boilers from September 2029, as part of the regulation of ecological design (Ecodesign) and energy labeling of the EU.
Ten EU countries have already planned to ban the installation of new oil and gas boilers in buildings. Spain, where the use of natural gas to heat homes is the majority (40% of households that have this type of facility use it), does not appear on this list.
The EU objective of installing 60 million heat pumps by 2030, a goal included in the REPowerEU – the bloc’s plan to disassociate itself from Russian gas.
The novelty is that a rapid deployment of this plan, in addition to drastically reducing gas imports and cutting polluting emissions, would also reduce the energy bill. Even in Spain.
These are data that emerge from a study presented last Tuesday by the Cambridge Econometrics consultancy commissioned by the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA).
There are currently more than 90 million gas and oil boilers in the EU. A new one is installed every 8 seconds.
There are currently more than 90 million gas and oil boilers in the EU. A new one is installed every 8 seconds. A rapid introduction of heat pumps would enable Europe to reduce EU gas demand in buildings by 40% by 2030 compared to 2022, reduce C=2 emissions by 46% and make the EU save on its energy import bill by 60,000 million euros between 2022 and 2030, that is, 20% less than current levels.
It is true that the electricity bill has risen considerably in recent months because of the war in Ukraine. However, the Cambridge Econometrics report, “wide deployment of heat pumps (both individual and in district heating networks) and a high rate of renovation can increase household disposable income by at least 2% and lead to annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 2.5% and create an additional 3 million jobs by 2030. In a context of high fossil fuel prices, heat pumps will be competitive options for consumers, since they are 30% cheaper than gas boilers throughout their useful life”.
In Spain, up to 14% of the energy bill could be saved with this system
As regards Spain, the study states that “consumers in Spain would benefit from the transition to more efficient buildings and heat pumps with a reduction of more than 14% of the heating bill in 2030, compared to with a business-as-usual scenario, heat pumps will be a cost-competitive option for consumers, as they are 50% cheaper than gas-fired boilers, considering their life cycle.” All this, in addition to the creation of 250,000 additional jobs throughout this decade.
“Our new report suggests that, especially if high fossil fuel prices persist for years to come, a rapid transition from gas-fired boilers to heat pumps would not only help reduce dependence on fossil fuel imports by 2030, but it would also create more jobs and reduce household energy spending,” said Stijn Van Hummelen, director of Cambridge Econometrics.
“We urge the EU to put an end to the era of fossil fuel boilers,” said Jozefien Vanbecelaere of the European Heat Pump Association. This week Europe will take action on the matter.