In Finland the oil sector Energy Efficiency Agreement Höylä IV covers years 2017 - 2025. The agreement also sets goals for the economical use of renewable energy in a manner beneficial with regard to the environmental impact in oil-heated buildings.
The agreement activities in the oil sector for the promotion of energy efficiency and energy savings were started in 1997. The improved energy efficiency, attributable to the agreements, has considerably reduced the consumption of heating oil. In Europe, Höylä has been perceived as an example of a highly functional energy efficiency agreement.
The Energy Efficiency Agreements are one part of the answer to meet international commitments to mitigate climate change. In practice, the Finnish Petroleum and Biofuels Association promotes the energy efficiency goals by advising people heating their homes how they can accomplish energy savings with their own actions, small and great alike.
The energy efficiency agreements play an important role
In Finland, Energy Efficiency Agreements have, all in all, accomplished good results, allowing the national and EU-level energy efficiency goals to be addressed through voluntary means.
In Finland, the energy efficiency agreements play an important role in fulfilling the obligations of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) The implementation of the directive started in 2014 and will continue until the end of 2020. Finland has set a national, binding energy-saving goal for 2020. The agreement also implements the periodic inspection obligation of boilers and provide energy advice to heating customers, as required by the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD)
Renewable energy parallel to oil
The Höylä IV agreement also sets goals for the economical use of renewable energy in a manner beneficial with regard to the environmental impact in oil-heated buildings. The goal is that at least half of oil-heated buildings also use renewable energy in 2025.
Because of the calculation method used in monitoring the directives, the energy-saving measures have more value when implemented early. This is why it is important that all participants of the agreements implement and report as much savings as possible prior to the commencement of the new agreement period in 2017. The new agreement keeps the measures active. Only this way it is possible to reach the binding national energy-saving target compliant with the Energy Efficiency Directive through voluntary means.
Oil heating in Finland
Roughly 190,000 Finnish one-family houses are heated with oil. In recent years, the share of oil heating in new buildings has been small but some 4,000-7,000 oil heating system renovations are carried out annually in one-family houses.
Thanks to the agreement, the average temperature corrected heating oil consumption of an average oil heated house has gone down in the 2000’s from 2,900 litres to 2,300 litres. In 1997-2010, 106,000 heating boilers were replaced under the programmes and the agreements.
The main part of the entire oil-heating stock is in good condition, and there is no real potential for exchanging the main heating system over to e.g. wood pellets or geothermal heat. Instead, there is quite some potential for complementing sound and well-working oil heating systems with parallel systems using renewable energy, for instance with a solar thermal system.