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New EU rules pose threat to oil heating industry

The new Energy Using Product Directive (EuP), due to become UK law in 2009, will drastically lower Nitrous Oxide (NOx) emissions levels and damage the UK oil heating business.
The Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC), believes the EuP is a big threat to the UK oil heating industry because it does not take into account that the majority of UK boilers are fitted within houses and kitchens, unlike mainland Europe where boilers are commonly sited outside dwellings.

OFTEC director general, Jeremy Hawksley said 'Technically it will be impossible to achieve the proposed new NOx limits with the type of indoor boilers we have in the UK and Ireland.

'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 1.6m households that use oil in the UK and Ireland.'

The EuP directive also 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.

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.'

OFTEC has been lobbying hard at European level through its partner Eurofuel to stop the directive becoming law in the UK.

Hawksley added '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.'

1 February 2008

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