February 28, 2024
Welcome to ASHRAE's European Policy and Funding Update! This monthly publication features information on policy and funding-related activities of interest to ASHRAE members in Europe. Archives of previous updates are available from the ASHRAE European Policy and Funding Updates webpage.
EU Regulatory Updates
Provisional Agreement on Net-Zero Industry Act
On 13 February, the negotiating teams from the Council, Parliament, and European Commission finalized the consolidated text of the interinstitutional agreement on the net zero emission industry regulation. The Net-Zero Industry Act is the EU’s plan to boost net zero domestic industries, including the heat pump industry. The document covers 19 technology categories, which will receive benefits such as accelerated authorization procedures and easier access to financing for production projects. The main elements of the agreement are an acceleration of permitting procedures, and the establishment of "industrial valleys" dedicated to promoting and accelerating the deployment of "net-zero" technology production capacities. The agreement will be reviewed by deputy ambassadors of the states (Coreper 1) on 16 February and voted on by the Parliament's Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE) on 22 February, with the aim of adoption during the April 10-11 plenary session.

EHPA reaction to the agreement on the
Net-Zero Industry Act
On 13 February, the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) released its reaction on the provisional agreement reached between the European Parliament and the Council (i.e. EU Countries) on the Net-Zero Industry Act. According to EPHA, this plan is a good start, but more must be done. EPHA acknowledges the recognition of heat pumps as a key net-zero technology in the EU, but believes that additional measures are necessary to fully support the sector. EHPA expressed its concerns about the expanded list of technologies included in the plan and the lower production benchmark for clean tech. They urge for greater ambition and sector-specific details to be incorporated to enhance the heat pump sector. EHPA declared looking forward to the European Commission's proposal for a concrete roadmap to boost and finance technologies across Europe and for the involvement of the heat pump sector in clean transition dialogues. The provisional agreement reached by the European Parliament and the Council (i.e. EU countries) must be endorsed and formally adopted by both institutions before April 2024.

Coalition of Organizations urges the EU Commission to release Heat Pump Action Plan
On 23 January, a coalition of around twenty organizations urged the European Commission to release its Action Plan for Heat Pumps. The coalition, consisting of industry stakeholders and NGOs, emphasized that the decision to delay the Heat Pump Action Plan could jeopardize the energy transition in the heating sector. Originally scheduled for the end of 2023, the presentation of this non-legislative document was postponed to early 2024 pending an agreement on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), which was reached on 8 December. However, since then, the Commission has not provided any publication date for the action plan. The signatories of the letter say they were unexpectedly informed that the release of the action plan would be postponed after the European elections in June 2024. The European Commission neither confirmed nor denied this information, stating that they were unable to provide a precise date at this stage.

CAN Europe calls on for more accessible and affordable renewable heating in the rental sector
On 20 February, Climate Action Network (CAN Europe) shared a policy briefing calling for more accessible and affordable renewable heating in the rental sector. As European households have been struggling with soaring heating bills, the rental sector has proved to be the one with most of the burden. The core issue that CAN Europe is stressing is that since landlords own the property, but tenants typically pay the energy bills, it makes them directly affected by the energy efficiency of the building and heating systems. They therefore call for a safeguard that ensures tenants are protected and rents do not increase. However, the current renewable heating and building policy measures in place are typically addressed to owners, and thus, need to be tailored specifically to the rental sector. Overall, renewable heating shall be both accessible and affordable for tenants living in Europe, and the heating decarbonization transition should not leave anyone behind.

Federation of European Heating calls on for heat pump standardization at European level
On 29 January, the Federation of European Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Associations (REHVA) called on for heat pump standardization at European level. The association is convinced that given the leading role of heat pumps in the EU energy transition, a performance assessment of heat pumps reflecting the real impact on energy efficiency and climate change, should be carried out. Moreover, aiming at the highest levels of transparency and harmonization, the assessment must take into account the heat pump product characteristics (data supplied by manufacturers) and the heating system running conditions (e.g. sizing, temperature conditions).

EHPA’s Manifesto for 2024-2029 EU policy priorities
On 16 February, the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) released its manifesto laying out the key priorities and challenges for unlocking the full potential of heat pumps between 2024-2029 and beyond. First and foremost, the association calls on EU policymakers to set clearer policy direction. They call on the European Commission to publish the EU Heat Pump Action Plan without delay, as it was postponed past the June 2024 EU elections. They also call for developing national heat pump targets and action plans to include specific chapters on heating and cooling in the NECPs. Moreover, EHPA also recommends that both EU and national level legislation are better streamlined so that all policies, building codes, energy performance certificates, and planning regulations touching upon heat pumps are well aligned with the RepowerEU targets for a large-scale heat pump roll-out. They also stress that the heat pump skills partnership foreseen in the Heat Pump Action Plan shall be implemented, so to ensure that enough workers are trained and reskilled. Finally, the alliance suggests using heat pumps’ flexibility to support the energy system as a whole. More specifically, it is recommended to integrate heating with electric cars, PV and building energy management systems by putting in place a future proof standardized communication protocol.

EHPA’s Infographic on the impact of Fit for 55 on heat pumps
On 26 January, the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) published an infographic explaining the main ways the EU’s Fit for 55 package (the EU’s strategy to achieve 55% reduction of carbon emission by 2030), to boost the heat pumps sector. The infographic gathers information about the Renewable Energy Directive (RED III), the EU’s Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), and the Electricity Market Design (EMD). span>

EU National Updates
European Commission approves the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework funds for France
On 8 January, in her statement, the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, Margrethe Vestager, announced the approval of a €2.9 billion French scheme under EU Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework. The money will help support the production of batteries, solar panels, wind turbines, and heat pumps, related key components, and critical raw materials.

Greece’s coal region turns to photovoltaic
On 5 February, Balkan Green Energy News revealed that lignite power plants in the coal regions of Western Macedonia and Megalopolis in Greece are to be reportedly closed. This indicates that Greece is putting forward ambitious efforts towards energy transition. As winters are quite harsh in Western Macedonia, when the coal plants will be shut down, there will be a need for new alternative solutions. Moreover, since Greece needs to adapt and make use of available capital through the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), it is currently developing its energy transition measures. The Small Photovoltaic Investors Association of Western Macedonia (SEFPE) proposed a joint investment in a 200 MW photovoltaic plant together with heat pumps in the investors’ homes. The total investment to include the 43,000 households in the PV plant and to install heat pumps is expected to reach EUR 250 million to EUR 280 million. After the solar park is completed, a net metering solution would be implemented to reduce energy costs for each home.

Increase in applications for UK Government's boiler upgrade scheme
On 26 January, the UK Government released new figures indicating a significant rise in applications to the government's Boiler Upgrade Scheme in December. The data shows a 49% increase in applications compared to the same month in 2022, demonstrating a growing interest in switching to cleaner heat pump alternatives. The scheme aims to facilitate the transition from fossil fuel heating systems to more sustainable options, providing financial assistance to help families make the switch without incurring substantial upfront costs.

UK announces £190 Million funding to support industry transition to net-zero
On 22 January, the UK Department of Energy Security and Net-Zero revealed plans to allocate over £190 million to assist industries in their transition towards achieving net zero emissions. Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, Lord Callanan, announced the selection of 12 winners from the Local Industrial Decarbonisation Plan competition, who will collectively receive up to £6 million each to develop strategies for a low carbon future. The funding will enable these winning businesses and their partners to collaborate on emission reduction plans, and focus on projects located outside major industrial hubs, with a particular emphasis on regions responsible for 55% of the country's industrial emissions, including a Yorkshire pet food manufacturer and a Poole ferry operator.

Announces launch of new phase of the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund
On 22 January, UK Department of Energy Security and Net-Zero unveiled its plan to launch a new phase of the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund later in the month, with an additional £185 million earmarked to assist companies in transitioning to cleaner and more secure energy sources. This funding will facilitate the replacement of outdated equipment, installation of electric furnaces, and adoption of hydrogen technologies, ensuring that businesses are equipped to operate sustainably and cost-effectively as they progress towards net zero. Sectors eligible to apply for this support include manufacturing, recycling, controlled environment horticulture, industrial laundries, and textile renting facilities, aligning with the government's broader efforts to meet the UK's net zero targets and foster green industrial growth.

Energy Cities Fossil-free heating and cooling workshop
On the 7 and 8 of May 2024, Energy Cities will host a workshop on fossil-free heating and cooling will be held in the city of Rijeka, Croatia. The event is the last of a series of 6 workshops which will be held in 6 different cities within the SSH CENTRE project (Social Sciences and Humanities for Climate, Energy and Transport Research Excellence): Cacak, Serbia; Grenoble, France; Arnhem, The Netherlands; Porto, Portugal; Valencia, Spain; Rijeka, Croatia.
More information and registration are available here.

REHVA Annual Meeting
From 15 to 17 May, the Federation of European Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Associations’ (REHVA) Annual Meeting will be hosted by TTMD Turkish Society of HVAC and Sanitary Engineers in Istanbul, Turkey. The event will last three days with the motto of “Towards Decarbonized Buildings and Cities”.
More information is available here, while registration is available here.

BioEnergy Europe & World Bioenergy Association joint webinar on biomass-based renewable heat
On 27 February, BioEnergy Europe is co-hosting a webinar entitled “Modern Renewable Heat Using Biomass for Industries” with World Bioenergy Association. The purpose of the webinar is to shed light on important challenges and opportunities within the renewable heating industry and highlight the crucial role of bioenergy in global energy transformation.
More information is available here, while registration is available here.

EPEE organizes an online event on EPBD implementation and solutions from refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump (RACHP) sector
On 20 March, the European Partnership for Energy and Environment (EPEE) will hold a panel discussion on setting framework for implementing EPBD and solutions for RACHP sector.
More information is available here, while registration is available here.


EUROPEAN COMMISSION: The European Commission is made up of 27 Commissioners, 1 for each Member State, and represents the interests of the EU as a whole. Every Commissioner is in charge of a Directorate-General (DG) that can be compared to a Ministry at national level. The European Commission proposes legislation in the form of Regulations and Directives and submits them to the Parliament and Council for discussion and adoption.

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: The European Parliament is made up of 705 MEPs (see below) that are directly elected by EU citizens in 27 Member States.

MEP: Member of the European Parliament, a co-legislator within the EU that is made up of representatives from political parties throughout Member States.  

COUNCIL OF THE EU: Co-legislator, made up of representatives from Member State Governments. Has a six-month rotating presidency, currently held by the Czech Republic until the end of 2022. 

EUROPEAN COUNCIL: The European Council is made up of the leaders of the EU member states, commonly known as EU27. It defines the EU’s overall political direction and priorities but does not pass laws.

REGULATION: EU legislative act that is binding in its entirety and is to be applied in its entirety across the EU by all EU Member States.

DIRECTIVE: EU legislative act that sets out a goal that all EU Member States must achieve. However, it is up to the EU Member States to adopt their own laws on how to achieve the EU goals enshrined in the Directive. 

HORIZON EUROPE: is the EU’s main and biggest Research and Innovation programme for the period of 2021-2027. The programme has an overall funding of €95,5 billion. The program is divided into three pillars: open science, global challenges & industrial competitiveness and open innovation.  
INVESTEU: The InvestEU Programme builds on the successful model of the Investment Plan for Europe, the Juncker Plan. It brings together, under one roof, the European Fund for Strategic Investments and 13 EU financial instruments currently available. Triggering at least €650 billion in additional investment, the Programme aims to give an additional boost to investment, innovation and job creation in Europe.

EUROPEAN GREEN DEAL: is a set of policy initiatives by the European Commission with the overarching aim of making Europe climate neutral in 2050. The plan is to review EU’s energy and climate laws to bring them in line with this ambition. Green Deal also introduces new legislation on the circular economy, building renovation, biodiversity, farming and innovation.
FIT-FOR-55-PACKAGE: The European Commission’s work program for 2021 included the revisions and initiatives linked to the European Green Deal climate actions and in particular the climate target plan’s 55 % net reduction target are presented under the Fit for 55 package. The package is compiled of two parts, released on 14 July 2021 and 14 December 2021.
REHVA: is the association of European heating, ventilation and air-conditioning associations, based in Brussels.
You can find all relevant EU building policy related information in this useful document.


BILL: A bill is a proposal for a new law, or a proposal to significantly change an existing law. A bill may start in either the Commons or the Lords and must pass a series of stages in each Houses. Once the bill has been agreed by both Houses, it receives Royal Assent and becomes an Act of Parliament.

HOUSE OF COMMONS: the House of Commons is the lower house and de facto primary chamber of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the upper house, the House of Lords (see below), it meets in the Palace of Westminster. The Commons is an elected body consisting of 650 members known as members of Parliament (MPs). Members are elected to represent constituencies by the first-past-the-post system and hold their seats until Parliament is dissolved.

HOUSE OF LORDS: The House of Lords scrutinises bills that have been approved by the House of Commons. It regularly reviews and amends Bills from the Commons. While it is unable to prevent Bills passing into law, except in certain limited circumstances, it can delay Bills and force the Commons to reconsider their decisions.

For additional information on European policy issues, please contact

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