In mid-October, member states agreed new eco-design standards setting minimum requirements on energy efficiency and air pollutant emissions for solid fuel boilers (< 500 kW) and solid fuel space heaters, which are currently responsible for more than 40 per cent of primary PM emissions in the EU.
After long negotiations, a compromise was reached by watering down the proposed emission limits for particulate matter (PM), organic gaseous compounds (OGC), carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides (NOx). The application of the boiler requirements was pushed back two years (to 2020) and for local space heaters four years (to 2022), compared to the original Commission proposal. The changed timelines and relaxed emissions standards will delay energy savings and benefits from air quality improvements.
The new requirements are set down in implementing directives under the Ecodesign Directive, which seeks to make products on the EU market more energy efficient and reduce their environmental impact. The European Parliament will have three months to scrutinise the texts before their final adoption.
Source: Ends Europe Daily, 17 October 2014