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EU agrees deal to phase out fossil fuel boilers

EUROPE: A provisional deal between the European Parliament and Council to strengthen the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive includes a complete phase-out of fossil fuel boilers by 2040. 

The agreement on the EPBD mandates zero emissions from fossil fuels for all new buildings by 2030, and for all buildings by 2050.

The deal will help the EU to phase-out, in a gradual manner, boilers powered by fossil fuels. Subsidies for the installation of stand-alone boilers powered by fossil fuels will not be allowed as of 1 January 2025. Member states will also have to set out specific measures on the phase-out of fossil fuels in heating and cooling with a view to a complete phase-out of boilers powered by fossil fuels by 2040. 

Subsidies for the installation of stand-alone boilers powered by fossil fuels will not be allowed as of 1 January 2025. According to the European Commission, the revised directive introduces a clear legal basis for member states to set requirements for heat generators based on greenhouse gas emissions, the type of fuel used, or the minimum share of renewable energy used for heating. 

The deal was welcomed by the European Heat Pump Association. Secretary general Thomas Nowak said: “Setting a date for ending fossil fuel heating in Europe’s buildings provides crucial clarity for consumers and charts the path for the heating sector. It makes any investment in heat pump solutions a future-proof choice.” 

The strengthened EPBD will support the EU’s efforts to decarbonise buildings across the whole Union. The deal will also  boost Europe’s energy independence in line with the REPowerEU Plan and make a strong business case for a cleaner buildings sector in the EU. 

The revised directive will make zero-emission buildings the new standard for new buildings. Under the agreement all new residential and non-residential buildings must have zero on-site emissions from fossil fuels, as of 1 January 2028 for publicly-owned buildings and as of 1 January 2030 for all other new buildings, with a possibility for specific exemptions.

Each Member State will adopt its own national trajectory to reduce the average primary energy use of residential buildings by 16% by 2030 and 20-22% by 2035, allowing for sufficient flexibility to take into account national circumstances. Member States are free to choose which buildings to target and which measures to take.

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