Newsletter 11.2016


Photo: Eurofuel 

(Photo: Eurofuel)

Dear readers,

A milestone in this early autumn was certainly the ratification of the Paris Agreement by the European Union. This formal step paves the way to the entry into force of an international commitment to contain global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius – and to seek to limit temperature increases even below 1.5 degrees Celsius – this century compared to pre-industrial levels. A reminder, if needed, of the important challenges ahead for Europe’s energy transition.

No wonder in this context that the resolution adopted by the European Parliament on the EU strategy for heating and cooling included many ambitious objectives. Sometimes too ambitious or even contradictory. Instead of imposing too radical and unrealistic decisions such as the phase-out of certain energy sources, for which the price impact on consumers and societies is not properly considered, Eurofuel has argued for maintaining a technology neutral approach to regulations. It would in our view be wiser to focus on general policy objectives and leave the market find new solutions – or adjust existing ones. Which was by the way a point MEPs made in the resolution.

Energy efficiency and the progressive integration of renewables in heating will for sure play a key part in addressing the policy challenges. Eurofuel will be carefully looking at the expected energy efficiency and renewable energy legislation review planned for later this year, the much-expected “winter package”. These pieces of legislation should be proper enablers of the transition and not pre-empt any technological or source-specific solutions for the challenges ahead. Innovation is key, as energy stakeholders heard in a symposium organised by our Austrian member IWO-Austria.

With affordable, high-efficiency and low-emission boilers, the modernisation of existing oil heating systems can to a large extent contribute to Europe’s climate objectives. Our British member OFTEC reports on state-of-the-art solutions which already anticipate low-emission targets. Furthermore, unlike what is sometimes portrayed in media and political statements, district heating is not always the best solution for efficiency increases. In fact, a study presented by our German member IWO has demonstrated that the renovation of individual heating systems is generally more cost-effective than the choice of district energy. This should be taken into account in view of public spending and fuel poverty considerations.

As shown by the example of the fourth energy efficiency agreement in Finland, the integration of renewable energy with oil-powered heating in the form of bio components or hybrid systems is also part of the solution and will be progressing over the years to come.

Through efficiency increases, integration of renewables and the development of innovative solutions, we are convinced that liquid fuels will continue to play a major role in providing consumers with safe and reliable heat supply. This was a key message Eurofuel and its Belgian member Informazout presented in an interview with a Belgian specialised TV programme.  

I wish you a good reading! 

Tristan Suffys
Secretary General

Liquid fuel heating sector supports European Parliament's call for more efficient heating systems

Eurofuel welcomes the adoption of a European Parliament resolution on the EU Heating and Cooling Strategy, which rightly calls for prioritising modernisation of heating systems to reduce the sector’s environmental footprint. Technology neutrality, cost efficiency and the free choice of technologies by consumers according to their needs are very important principles enshrined in the resolution. We would encourage the Commission to keep this open approach in upcoming legislation.


(Photo: Eurofuel)

News from across Europe


Heated debate on the future of domestic heating

While everyone agrees on the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the domestic heating sector, opinions are divided as to the means to achieve this objective. Eurofuel’s Austrian member IWO-Austria contributed to the debate through a symposium on “Energy strategies for the future”, which they organised in Vienna on 19 October 2016. Funding for innovation appeared as an important part of the solution. Whereas representatives from the renewable energy industry and regional authorities argued for tax and regulatory measures to favour certain energies, other speakers pleaded for market-based rules and a technology-open market approach which combines the advantages of various energy sources. Martin Reichard, IWO-Austria’s Director, concluded: “Besides efficiency measures such as the replacement of oil boilers and technological development, we need above all to combine the advantages of all heating systems“.


(Photo: IWO-Austria)


United Kingdom:

Government urged to act on fuel poverty

A new study has shown that more than 10% of British households are now living in fuel poverty, a large proportion of these in rural areas. Oil heating remains the cheapest option, with significantly lower energy bills than with other sources of energy. Eurofuel’s UK member OFTEC is calling upon the government to introduce a boiler replacement scheme, which could enable households to save up to £ 200 per year on their bills thanks to modern, condensing oil boilers. OFTEC also provides households with a number of easy solutions to further reduce fuel bills.


(Photo: OFTEC)

Early compliance expected with NOx emission limits

New burners with low emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) will enable oil heating systems to meet the stringent limit values set by the EU Eco-design measures even before they enter into force in September 2018, Eurofuel’s member OFTEC reports. “Manufacturers have not only produced burners which will meet the new 2018 standards, but also developed models in anticipation of the next round of regulations in 2022 which are expected to enforce even lower NOx levels”, said OFTEC CEO Paul Rose.


(Photos: Riello and EOGB)



Modernisation of individual heaters is more cost-efficient than district heating

It would cost € 250 billion more over 20 years to connect all existing buildings to district heating networks than upgrading individual heating systems to achieve the energy and climate objectives laid down by the German government. This is the result of a study commissioned by various actors of the German heat market, including Eurofuel’s German member IWO. On average, favouring district heating over individual heating solutions could cost German households an extra € 61 per month. The study, conducted by experts from ITG Dresden and TU Darmstadt, concludes that the deployment of district heating networks is a sensible choice in certain cases but should not generally be preferred over the modernisation of individual heaters. 


(Photo: IWO)



The continuing positive story of the Oil Sector Energy Efficiency Agreement

The positive results obtained from energy efficiency work in the Finnish oil sector are set to continue. The fourth energy efficiency agreement, Höylä IV, was signed on 14 October and will come into effect next year. The agreement will see the continuation of measures to improve the energy efficiency of oil heating. The goal is that at least half of oil-heated buildings will also be using renewable energy by the time the agreement expires in 2025, as Eurofuel’s member Finnish Petroleum & Biofuels Association has indicated.


(Graph: Finnish Petroleum & Biofuels Association)



How heating oil will continue to play a major role in an evolving energy mix

Belgian TV programme Canal Z / Kanaal Z has interviewed representatives from Eurofuel and the Belgian oil sector about the role of oil in an evolving energy mix, the importance of an increased efficiency of heating equipment and the impact for the millions of Belgian households using oil for heating. 


(Screenshot: Canal Z / Kanaal Z)