EU Threat to UK Oil Heating Industry

3rd February 2008
EU threat to UK's Oil Heating IndustryNew rules from Brussels are threatening the future of the oil heating and cooking industry in the British Isles, claims the Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC).

The new Energy Using Product Directive (EuP) is due to be implemented into UK law as soon as 2009 and is designed to reduce CO2 emissions from all buildings.

However, the new regulations include draconian measures such as drastically lowering Nitrous Oxide (NOx) emissions levels. OFTEC is concerned that the EuP does not take into account that most boilers here in the UK are fitted within houses and kitchens, unlike in Europe where boilers are commonly sited outside dwellings.

OFTEC Director General, Jeremy Hawksley, explained “Technically it will be impossible to achieve the proposed new NOx limits with the type of indoor boilers we have in the UK. If this legislation is implemented as it stands now, it will seriously reduce the market for oil boilers, oil tanks, ancillary equipment, flues and chimneys. This is a massive threat to our industry and to the 1.6 million households that use oil.”

In addition, the EuP directive proposes a system of combined labelling which would impact upon not just the oil heating industry, but also gas, electricity and solid fuel. Under combined labelling, the boiler appliance manufacturer will be required to supply water tanks, and controls – everything to provide an energy efficient system rather than a stand alone appliance.

Jeremy Hawksley said “These onerous requirements will make it difficult, if not impossible for smaller manufacturers to compete with large global companies in offering a complete product portfolio. The proposals are anti-competitive and could signal a limited future for many of the companies in our industry.”

In the meantime, OFTEC has been lobbying hard at European level through it’s partner Eurofuel to try and stop the directive becoming law here.

Jeremy Hawksley summed up by saying “OFTEC is not against energy efficiency measures, and we support the EU’s target of reducing carbon emissions by 2020. However, this can only be achieved if directives such as this are introduced in a way that enables industry to adapt current products and practices.”

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Article Last Updated 3rd February 2008
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