Promotion of high-efficiency oil boilers through a national energy specific labelling system

Why?

In 1986 the Belgian heating oil sector has set up an energy specific labelling system, notably "Optimaz" & "Optimaz-elite" labels, to promote the sales and installation of high efficiency oil boilers. With the support of Informazout, the Belgian association for the promotion of rational use of heating oil, these labels have become the standard for both installer and consumer and cover now an estimated 90 % of the heating market.

What?

Heating oil serves no less than 1.6 million households or 33 % of the heating market in Belgium. In 1977 the Belgian heating oil sector established Informazout, a national information centre with the aim of promoting the rational use of heating oil in house heating. In order to inform and guide oil consumers in their choice for a new oil boiler, an energy specific labelling system for high efficiency oil boilers was set up in cooperation with Cedicol, the Belgian technical knowledge centre on liquid fuels.

The "Optimaz" label was developed in 1986 as an efficiency and quality label for low temperature oil boilers. The label specifies the technical requirements regarding boiler efficiency and emissions, and is monitored by independent laboratories. The label also ensures guaranties on the equipment and spare parts for the maintenance. As an information centre, Informazout actively promoted the label in all its communication actions towards consumers and policy makers.

With the arrival of oil condensing technologies, a specific efficiency and quality label for condensing oil boilers, namely the "Optimaz-elite" label, was created and promoted by Informazout.

The introduction of new types of boilers in the labelling system is made subject to approval by a scientific committee composed of representatives of governmental authorities, universities and consumer associations. A market surveillance is organised by a management committee which controls the conformity of the labelled boilers with the initial standards of acceptance. Today "Optimaz" & "Optimaz-elite" labels are perceived by the authorities as the "standard" for high efficiency oil boilers in Belgium and as a reference in building or renovation specifications for architects and HVAC specialists.

Belgium

Outcome

  • Over 1 million oil boilers with an "Optimaz" & "Optimaz-elite" label were sold in Belgium since 1990.
  • Today Belgian burner/boiler importers and manufacturers offer a selection of 90 different types of "Optimaz" and 45 "Optimaz-elite" systems.