A victory for oil heating

When the European Commission published the draft Energy-related Products Directive six years ago, the future of the oil-fired heating sector looked bleak. Following a long campaign OFTEC has won a ‘significant victory’.

The proposed directive would have required NOx emissions levels from boilers of well below 100 milligrams per kilowatt hour. Had these limits been accepted it would have destroyed the UK and Irish oil heating industry overnight because it would have been impossible to reduce boiler emissions to the proposed levels.

However, after extensive lobbying by OFTEC and its European industry partner Eurofuel, the recently published directive has set the maximum NOx emission limit at 120 milligrams per kilowatt hours for oil boilers – a figure manufacturers believe is achievable, and are happy to work towards.

Commenting on the news, OFTEC director general Jeremy Hawksley said: “We’ve worked tirelessly with our industry partners in Europe to secure this realistic figure for NOx emissions, which is extremely positive for our industry. The new standard for oil boilers has been deferred until 2018 instead of 2016 as previously proposed, which will give manufacturers the necessary lead time to implement any product changes.

“The proposed penalty for non-modulating domestic oil-fired boilers has also been removed, which was also a significant threat to the oil industry. These positive outcomes are a direct result of the important work that OFTEC does in lobbying for the oil fired sector both at UK and European level. Without this action it probably would have been unfeasible to manufacture an oil fired boiler after 2015/16.”