Major European governments supporting smart thermostats – with the UK leading the way

Over the past 12 months, many more European governments have recognised the importance of smart thermostats in making homes more energy efficient.

There are various new initiatives in place to encourage consumers to buy, engineers to install, and energy companies to sell intelligent heating controls. This not only has a significant positive impact towards Europe achieving its climate goals, but it also enables consumers to save money and maximise comfort.

No energy transition without a heating transition

Heating and cooling in our buildings and industry accounts for half of the EU’s energy consumption. In European households, heating and hot water alone account for 79% of the total final energy use (192.5 Mtoe). For European countries to hit the EU 2050 carbon-neutral target, much more attention needs to go into making buildings and homes more energy efficient. Technology has a big role to play and in the case of intelligent home climate management, governments across Europe have recognised the value of smart thermostats and implemented various initiatives to increase adoption in homes. 

European legislations to promote smart heating control 

There is a broad variety of measures in the different countries ranging from subsidy programs, to vouchers, and laws. The UK government is one of the pioneers when it comes to promoting smart thermostats. The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) Innovation Funding and Boiler Plus regulation already came into effect in 2018. Under the  Energy Company Obligation (ECO) program medium and larger energy suppliers fund the installation of energy efficiency measures like the installation of smart thermostats. The Boiler Plus standards require additional energy efficiency measures when a gas combi boiler is installed. Smart thermostats are one of the four additional measures prescribed. In September 2020, the British government launched the Green Homes Grant in England to make homes more energy efficient. Homeowners and landlords can claim up to £10,000 to install energy-efficient measures, which include smart thermostats.

Elsewhere in Europe, various initiatives came into effect in the last year or are already in the planning. In the Netherlands owners and occupants of a home can apply for a €120 subsidy for smart thermostats if they have implemented and paid for two energy-saving measures (SEEH). In addition, the amended Dutch 2012 Building Decree requires self-regulating equipment that can regulate the temperature per room or zone like a smart thermostat when the heating system is replaced. In Belgium there are eco vouchers given out to employees and in Ireland homeowners can apply for the €700 Heating Controls Grant to upgrade their heating system. Germany makes buying smart thermostats more attractive by giving homeowners a tax deduction (Einkommensteuergesetz § 35c) and offering different subsidies like the state-owned development bank KfW programs to improve the heating system. 

In July 2020, the French government introduced the “coup de pouce” which gives a €150 discount for homeowners when having a smart thermostat professionally installed. In Italy the consumer gets a 65% tax deduction with the “Ecobonus” incentive when a smart thermostat is purchased with a condensing boiler. Some of the leading Italian energy providers like E.ON or Eni gas e luce even take care of all of the paperwork, so the customer only pays 35% of the list price. 

To qualify for the French “coup de pouce” and the Italian Ecobonus it is obligatory that the smart thermostat ranks in the highest classes of the European Union’s Energy Related Products (ErP) Directive. tado° makes one of the few smart thermostats that rank in the highest ErP class and in the highest efficiency class due to market-leading modulation capabilities that enable a highly-efficient combustion process inside the boiler. 

How smart thermostats save energy

Smart thermostats are equipped with various intelligent features to ensure that no heat is wasted. For example, the tado° Geofencing feature ensures that the heating is only on when somebody is actually home, while tado° also turns down the heating to save energy when windows are open and adapts to the weather for maximum efficiency. Users can also benefit from individual multi-room control for additional comfort and savings. Insightful reports that show real-time and historic energy use, costs, and savings also encourage energy-aware behaviour. 

Christian Deilmann CPA of tado° comments: “It is a very positive development that politicians have recognised the value of smart thermostats as a cost-effective alternative to save energy. In contrast to the usual energy-efficient renovation measures, such as facade insulation, intelligent heating control does not require a high initial investment, saves up to 31% in energy costs, and pays for itself after one to two years. We are really looking forward to seeing further countries apply similar subsidy measures in order to reduce energy consumption significantly.”

Form not found, form id :279