Not just talking the walk, but walking the talk. That is what the EHI members are doing when it comes to heating modernisation. For years, EHI and its members have highlighted the challenge of the 70 million old and inefficient boilers that are installed in European buildings (just under 60% of the installed stock). Tackling this challenge is also a major opportunity for meeting the EU’s climate, renewables and efficiency targets.  But how to reach millions of consumers about the inefficiency of their boiler and inform about a possible replacement?

Two EHI members – the Italian association Assotermica and the Spanish association Fegeca – went ahead and developed an energy label for the installed stock of boilers in their respective market. The installed stock label of both associations builds on the European energy label that was first introduced for new heating and hot water appliances in 2015. While the labels look similar, there are some differences.

In Spain, Fegeca’s installed stock label enables an installer to rate the efficiency of boilers, based on the age and the technology. The efficiency classes range from A+ to G. For example, an atmospheric boiler that is less than 15 years old will be in class D. And an atmospheric boiler older than 15 years will be in Class E. The Spanish installed stock label is a boiler-only label. The top energy class on the Spanish installed stock label is A+: The maximum score that can be achieved by boilers, when a condensing boiler and controls are sold as a package.

In Italy, the Italian association Assotermica has developed a free tool – also available in a smart phone app format – that allows installers as well as the consumer to identify the efficiency rating on the boilers. The installer or the consumer can rate the efficiency of a boiler based on the information on the boiler itself and/or by referring to maintenance booklet, where a record is kept of the regular maintenance of the boiler. Assotermica also uses the tool to inform consumers about the availability of financial incentives (e.g. a boiler replacement is a deductible expense under the ‘Ecobonus’ programme in Italy).

Both associations highlight the energy savings and the environmental benefits of switching from a non-condensing boiler to a more efficient heating technology.  Switching from a non-condensing boiler in class E to a condensing boiler in class A can reduce gas consumption by 25%. The more efficient operation of a condensing boiler can reduce CO2 emissions by 35%. Also, switching to a condensing boiler can reduce Nox emissions by more than 50%.

To avoid any confusion between the European label for new heating appliances and the national-level labels for the installed stock, the design of the energy label was altered substantially. In the Italian case, the label features the Italian flag (instead of the EU’s flag) and the word ‘Energia’. In the Spanish case, the logo of the manufacturer is printed on the top of the label.  For promotional use in online and other media, an energy label with the logo of FEGECA is available as well. See the example below.

Other heating associations in Europe already introduced a label for the installed stock. A mandatory energy label for old boilers was introduced in Germany in 2017. More than 1.5 million boilers have already been labelled to date. The heating association in the UK – HHIC – launched its Retro Boiler label at the end of 2016. The Austrian association VÖK launched its ‘Altgeraetelabel’ in March 2017.