New measures for heaters could save up to 20% of a household's energy bill

New measures for heaters could save up to 20% of a household's energy bill

What changes on 26 September 2015?


From 26 September 2015 onwards, new ecodesign and energy labelling measures introduced by the European Union will help consumers save more energy – and money – while heating their homes or using domestic hot water. These measures concern:

  • boilers;
  • heat pumps;
  • water heaters

and cover aspects such as

  • increased energy efficiency;
  • more transparent information for consumers;
  • and (for products burning fuels) emissions of nitrogen oxides (applying from 26 September 2018).


The Ecodesign Regulations set minimum energy efficiency requirements for the products being placed on the market while the two Energy Labelling Regulations set the rules for providing information to consumers on the efficiency of the products.

While the functionality will not be affected, the measures will bring a number of benefits. They will:

  1. bring possible savings up to 275 € on consumers' energy bills per year;

  2. reduce a significant amount of energy consumption (equivalent to annual consumption of Portugal and Austria);

  3. reduce CO2 emissions (equivalent to CO2 emissions of Belgium);

  4. diminish EU’s energy need (potential cut out of 418 million barrels of imported fuel every year).

The measures will not apply to products that are already on the shelves in stores, but only to new products being offered for sale.


Benefits for consumers

The measures will bring more efficient products to the market, and will give consumers the possibility to choose the best performing ones. This will result in significant energy savings:

  • Replacing an old boiler by a new condensing gas-boiler can bring about 275€ worth of savings per year for a household.

  • The most efficient products on the market, such as heat pumps and cogeneration heaters, will be shown as the most efficient solution for consumers through the energy label.

Consumers will not notice these changes when heating their homes, as the functionality of the appliances is not affected. They will only realise the change at the end of the month, with their energy bill reduced up to 20%.


Benefits for industry

The Ecodesign and Energy Labelling measures on heating appliances introduced by the European Commission received favourable support from manufacturers and retailers, as well as from consumer organisations and environmental NGOs.

Such measures directly contribute to

  • reducing costs and enhancing competitiveness by setting rules at European level;

  • avoiding compliance costs with potentially 28 different sets of national requirements.

This means significant extra revenue. Moreover, these measures protect EU industry from competition from low-quality and low-cost imported products.


Benefits for the environment and energy security

From 2020 onwards, the measures applied to space and water heaters are expected to

  • cut the equivalent to the annual primary energy consumption of Portugal and Austria together (56 Mtoe in 2012)
  • reduce CO2 emissions from 2020 onwards; this is equivalent to the CO2 emissions generated by Belgium in 2012
  • diminish EU’s energy need by the equivalent of almost 418 million barrels of imported fuel each year.

All ecodesign and energy labelling measures combined are estimated to save a considerable amount of energy equivalent to the current annual primary energy consumption of Italy from 2020 onwards.

Richard Black, director of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (UK) said: “The level of support for regulations that cut energy waste is really remarkable – they’re even more popular than renewable energy, which we know is supported by around 80% of Britons. I think this sends a clear message to political parties: people, especially the elderly, really appreciate regulations that save energy, cut bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”


Energy saving tips in heating:

  • Refer to your dealer or installer’s expertise in choosing the right product for your home.

  • Read the label: An A or higher rating means the heater is one of the most efficient heaters on the market. You can increase your energy-saving advantages by combining different technologies.

  • Consider where you live: Heat pumps use ambient energy as its main source of energy, the performance of a heat pump depends on the climate. The energy efficiency for the area in which you live can be found on the label’s map.

  • Check your indoor temperature. An increase of 1ºC will increase your energy bill by 7%.

  • Ideally, ventilate your home with open windows twice a day for 5 to 10 minutes only. Keep your windows closed the rest of the time during the heating season.

  • Use your heating controls to adapt the temperature levels to your presence. For instance, when not at home, you might want to slightly decrease the temperature.


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