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Member States urge EU Commission to publish the Heat Pump Action Plan

In December 2023 the European Commission, the Council and the Parliament reached an agreement to gradually ban the installation of new fossil fuel heating systems. Starting in 2025, state subsidies for such systems will be prohibited. From 2030, new houses will no longer be allowed to install gas boilers, and by 2050, even older buildings must be made emission-free. To support this transition, the spread of renewable, clean energy systems will be promoted with financial incentives under the Fit for 55 program at both the EU and Member State levels. In addition to the ban on gas boilers, this program includes measures to encourage the adoption of heat pump systems, requiring member states to announce new energy efficiency grants for home renovations.

In the middle of May 2024, in a joint statement 15 EU countries called on the European Commission to prioritize the decarbonization of heating and cooling systems in order to enhance energy independence and achieve climate goals. The countries urged the Commission to publish an action plan to support heat pumps and to review the 2016 EU heating and cooling strategy in alignment with the upcoming 2040 climate target setting the path to 1.5-degree objective and climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest.

In the statement, Member States emphasized the importance of harnessing the significant potential of renewable energy sources, with a particular focus on district heating systems. They highlighted that the decarbonization of the heating and cooling sector should be supported through both the improvement of energy efficiency and the development of new systems. This includes the use of heat derived from solar energy, ambient energy, bioenergy, and geothermal energy, as well as the introduction of technologies such as large-scale heat pumps, solar-powered water heaters, and the utilization of waste heat.

According to the signatory Member States, this approach would significantly contribute to Europe’s energy security. Speeding up the deployment and increasing the demand for renewable heat and cooling solutions will not only play a significant role in decarbonization and in the long-term increase affordability for all consumers, but also contribute to EU competitiveness in providing a scalable market for European flagship renewable industries, such as heat pumps. To this end, they called on the Commission to publish the announced Heat Pump Action Plan. Currently, the European Commission is working on an action plan for heat pumps, though the exact timeline for its release has not yet been determined.