A European Impact Assessment of the Eco-design Requirements for Heating Systems - What Kind of Savings can we expect?
Improving energy efficiency is seen as a key pillar in transforming the energy system. Residential heating systems could make a substantial contribution to reducing energy demand since they rank among the largest European energy consumers, accounting for about 21.5 % (10,327 PJ) of the total final energy demand in 2010. To exploit heating system-related saving potentials, the EU implemented the Eco-Design Directive, which sets minimum efficiency standards at the design phase. In terms of heating systems, Lots 1 and 2 were published in 2013 and Lots 15 and 20 are in the process of being developed. To evaluate the impact of these measures, a scenario analysis is being conducted as part of the Eco-Design preparation studies. The Eco-Design impact assessment is for time horizons to 2025 and 2035, which are rather short compared to the lifetime of heating systems of 20 years or more. The technology-specific assessments also neglect the interdependency between heating systems. This study aims to close this research gap by applying an impact assessment to a combination of all four Lots addressing heating systems. The bottom-up model FORECAST-Residential is used to analyse the EU27 building and heating stock on a country by country basis up to 2050. The analysis reveals that the Eco-Design Directives could reduce final energy demand by 1,376 PJ by 2050. The largest potential for savings are attributed to Lot 1, which is mainly related to replacing constant temperature and low temperature boilers by more efficient condensing boilers together with a strong diffusion of heat pumps.