Fortum welcomes an EU strategy for heating and cooling sectors – a step towards better functioning markets across Europe

16 February 2016, 13:10 EET

​The European Commission published on 16 February 2016 the EU Heating and Cooling Strategy as part of its “Winter Package”.

Even though these sectors consume about half of the EU energy, of which 75% originate from fossil fuels, this is the first time that the Commission directly addresses heating and cooling in an official communication document.

The strategy underlines not only the importance of decarbonisation of heating and cooling supply, but also the need for improved energy efficiency in all building types. Fortum welcomes the recognition that the strategy gives to efficient district heating and cooling as a solution for decarbonisation and to energy efficiency improvements.

We hope that the strategy leads to greater awareness of heating and cooling sectors and their contribution potential in achieving the EU energy and climate policy goals. We trust that the strategy will trigger further activities, for example, creating common definitions and better statistics, and that the key elements will be addressed in more detail in the forthcoming revisions of the EU energy efficiency legislation.

Fortum promotes competitive heating and cooling markets, where different supply options compete against each other and customers are able to choose their supplier. This would, however, require that policies and legislation treat various options equally, which is not the case today. For example, some supply options are covered by the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), while some others are not. Clarification of the role of electricity in heating and cooling markets should also be delivered.

Today the heating and cooling market is heavily regulated in many EU member states. To fully benefit from the efficiency improvement potential in both supply and consumption, a more functional, market-driven model is needed. This, in turn, would enable affordable total heating and cooling costs for customers. Furthermore, we believe that competition would encourage innovations and the evolution of heating and cooling markets towards a smart energy future. Heating and cooling customers should be able to benefit from new applications and products that allow them to become “prosumers,” who trade heating and cooling on a commercial basis.

The development of an EU target market model for heating and cooling markets would certainly enhance the coordination of EU-level policies and guide the progress on a national level.

For additional information, please contact:
Harri-Pekka Korhonen, Head of Heat Policies and Regulation, Fortum Corporation, harri [dot] korhonen [at] fortum [dot] com (harri[dot]korhonen[at]fortum[dot]com) or +358 50 452 9321
Monika Kuusela, Senior Manager, Heat Policies and Regulation, Fortum Corporation, monika [dot] kuusela [at] fortum [dot] com (monika[dot]kuusela[at]fortum[dot]com) or +358 40 822 7054