Hybrid heating explained to Belgian heating oil consumers

Why?

In Belgium 1,700,000 homes are heated with oil, which represents one out of every three households. In 2017 the Belgian federal authorities started a national debate on the Belgian long-term strategy to reach the EU targets of 80% reduction greenhouse gas emissions in 2050 compared to 1990 levels.

In order to enable oil heating consumers to take part in this energy transition process to a low carbon society Informazout, the Belgian information centre for the rational use of oil heating, has always argued for a stepped approach and an energy open technology mix to reach Europe’s climate objectives. It has developed different communication tools focussing on the important role of hybrid heating systems in existing homes as a realistic and least expensive way to reach the EU targets in 2030 and beyond.

What?

In 2017 Informazout launched a national advertising campaign airing on national radio, displayed online via bannering and published in building magazines showing ‘absurd’ combinations to get warm and the logical ‘combination’ of oil heating & renewables as the perfect match to heat your home.

A pre- and post-test conducted by KANTAR/TNS confirmed that the light-hearted tone of voice of this campaign was well received by a large group of consumers.

Also, the Informazout website was entirely refurbished and did get a responsive design. New sections were added explaining heating oil consumers how to combine oil heating with renewables. We started blogging 6 times a month and we published testimonials of heating oil consumers who have already made the step to a hybrid heating system combining oil/solar or oil/heat pump. Recently, two videos were realized to clarify the operation and the advantages of the combination of heating oil with solar energy.

The campaign was rolled out in social media spreading the same message: oil & renewable energy can easily be combined in a hybrid heating system and are a perfect match. Two characters were developed to incarnate the combination in Facebook posts.

In close collaboration with an external engineering company Informazout also published the results of a comparative study on the long-term costs over a period of 15 years of a variety of heating systems when retrofitting an old heating oil boiler with a new high efficiency oil boiler or hybrid heating system. The combination of a condensing oil boiler & solar came out as the best economical and ecological choice for the Belgian heating oil consumer. Similarly, an online tool was launched for consumers wishing to renovate their heating system; the tool calculates the energy savings, the pay-back time of the investment and the environmental gain of the new system.

Finally, also professionals, i.e. installers and architects were reached with a revised version of ‘the specification guide for new oil heating installations’ in which an extra section was integrated on the combination of oil heating with solar and/or heat pump in central heating systems.

 

Belgium

Outcome

  • Advertising campaign carried out.

  • Post-test of campaign evaluation shows high likeability of the communication. Message take-out is mainly about the combination of heating oil with renewable energy, which is more economic.

  • New technical guide for installers - version 2017