OFTEC in conflict with Europe

Published:  18 August, 2011

The Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC) is fighting a proposed 7% penalty on non-modulating oil boilers.

The Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC) is fighting a proposed 7% penalty on non-modulating oil boilers, fearing that proposals put forward as part of the Energy-related Product Directive (ErPD) could threaten the future of the oil heating industry in the UK and Ireland.

Research commissioned by OFTEC suggests there is no evidence that non-modulating domestic oil boilers are any less efficient than modulating ones.

Jeremy Hawksley, director general for OFTEC, said: “A detailed technical study has been sent to both the UK and Irish governments who will present it to the European Commission. We are confident that ErPD can be revised so that non-modulating domestic oil boilers will not be unfairly penalised.”  

The ErPD is expected to take effect from January 2013 and will impose minimum efficiency levels of around 90% for both oil and gas boilers. This means pressure is on appliance manufacturers to increase efficiencies, currently at 85% for most oil boilers.

Hawksley added: "The challenge is compounded by the fact that the UK is unique in having smaller kitchen style appliances which run on kerosene rather than gas oil. This imposes extra costs whereas in Germany, for example, it’s common to have a large commercial-style boiler in a basement."

OFTEC has previously won concessions from Europe over nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions. The EU was proposing an upper limit of 50mg per KWh, which is only achievable by using a larger commercial style burner. A typical UK oil boiler produces around 190 to 210mg of NOx per KWh at the moment, leading OFTEC to argue that the proposed 50mg limit was unrealistic. A new limit has been agreed of 120mg per KWh.