OFTEC counts on Government Support in fight against Bungling Brussels Bureaucrats
13th March 2008
The Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC) is hoping the UK and Republic of Ireland Governments will continue to back it’s fight to save the oil heating and cooking industry.
Current EU Commission proposals look set to dramatically reduce the permitted maximum levels of NOx from central heating boilers from 250mg/kWh to as low as 35 mg/kWh. The changes are contained within the Eco-Design of Energy Using Products Directive (EUPD), which is due to pass into UK national law in 2009.
At the latest consultation forum in Brussels, OFTEC’s Technical Director Alan Black questioned the proposals - via its European partner Eurofuel - which threaten the viability of using oil fired domestic boilers in the British Isles. “To achieve the lower NOx levels typically requires a much larger burner and boiler than the ones we currently use here. Whereas the majority of European installations are either in purpose made boiler rooms or in cellars, boilers in the UK and Republic of Ireland are usually in confined spaces such as kitchens and even cupboards. Although the new proposals suit some parts of Europe, they would effectively signal the end of our oil heating industry as we know it.”
OFTEC is counting on government support in setting more realistic levels for NOx reduction. There are compelling arguments for challenging the legislation, not least that the 1.5 million householders who use oil could be forced to switch to more expensive fuels. The most recent figures from October 2007 put the cost of heating a three bedroom home with an oil condensing boiler at £769 per annum in the UK. The other alternative fuels for those off the gas main are electricity and LPG – which cost £989 and £1,214 respectively per annum to run.
The directive could also mean job losses in manufacturing. With the reduction in market size, boiler and burner manufacturers in the British Isles are likely to cease production of oil fired equipment. OFTEC estimates that approximately 21,000 jobs could be at stake in this sector.
Commenting on the Brussels meeting Alan Black said “UK Government support on this issue is of paramount importance to us, given the impact on households and employment. Both the UK and Republic of Ireland Government representatives strongly supported the setting of realistic and achievable NOx levels at the meeting and we hope that this will continue to be reflected in their written submissions to the Commission. Our industry will endeavour to address any concerns with regard to emissions as it has always done, but it is vital that this proposed legislation is altered if thousands of UK and Republic of Ireland households are not to be severely disadvantaged.”
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Article Last Updated 13th March 2008