Background – Why the EU heating stock needs to change
Among the 126 million boilers installed in the EU, a staggering 60% are inefficient (performing as a C or lower energy class). However, people are rarely aware of the inefficiency of their heating systems, their wider environmental impact and the associated costs. Heating and hot water represent 80% of the energy demand of EU households, and 84% of this energy is still generated from fossil fuels – it goes without saying that there is a clear need to foster the replacement of heating systems with more efficient alternatives for the EU to reach its climate and decarbonisation goals.
Changing behaviour with an online tool
HARP stands for Heating Appliances Retrofit Planning and is a project funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme. HARP is dedicated to raising consumer awareness on the inefficiency of the EU heating stock and to foster efficient heating solutions in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and Germany.
The project consortium is now developing an online application, which will provide consumers with an indicative energy label and estimation of the costs associated with their already-installed heating systems. The application will then give an overview of alternative, more efficient heating solutions, explaining their benefits, such as energy and cost savings, reduction of CO2 emissions, improvement of indoor air quality or noise reduction. Finally, the online tool will list the incentive schemes and financial support available at national level to replace inefficient heating appliances with a more efficient alternative.
The online application will be an unprecedented tool designed to provide practical guidance for consumers to understand the wider impact of their heating system and to navigate them through the range of alternatives, which otherwise are often too complex and difficult to understand for non-experts.
Wider impacts and replication
HARP unites 18 organisations from Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and Germany as well as European-wide Brussels-based networks. The consortium partners work together closely in order to increase the replacement rate of inefficient, fossil-fuel operated appliances and significantly reduce energy consumption and emissions from residential buildings in the participating countries. They also aim to draw lessons from the implementation of a labelling scheme for installed heating systems for potential replication at EU level, and potential development of financing schemes building upon the experience drawn from HARP.
Activities – Where the project stands and next steps
At present, much focus lies in gathering and analysing data in order to build a strong foundation for the online application. The app itself will base, among other things, on a survey analysing the motivations for consumers to change their heating system was presented, as well as a characterisation of each partner country’s heating appliances stock and of the technologies available on the European market.
As a next step, existing methodologies for labeling installed heating appliances will be compared with a view to establish a common methodology used by the online application.
The HARP app will be launched in autumn 2020 and a number of engagement campaigns at national level are planned in order to inform policymakers, consumers, and professionals of the heating sector.
About the project:
HARP (Heating Appliances Retrofit Planning) is a project funded by the EU Horizon 2020 program aiming to raise consumer awareness on the inefficiency of their heating systems and to accompany them in adopting efficient alternatives.