Expensive energy makes heating a cost trap: free tools help with heating replacement – Press release

The heating matrix shows which heating systems are best suited for which houses. The heating calculator determines annual costs and helps to find the best solution for a house.

“Energy prices have risen as much in the past two years as they last did during the oil crisis in 1973. This poses problems for many households, because heating with oil, natural gas or coal in particular has become expensive,” says Herbert Tretter, who coordinates the EU project REPLACE. To escape the “heating cost trap”, it therefore makes sense to replace old, inefficient and mostly climate-damaging heating systems. “Those who heat with oil, natural gas or coal not only pay a lot of money. These outdated heating systems are also among the most climate-damaging of all available technologies in space heating,” Tretter continues. To make it easier to switch to a new, climate-friendly heating system, two independent, free online tools are available in nine languages as part of the EU project REPLACE. 

Heating matrix

The heating matrix shows which heating systems are best suited for which houses.

Heating calculator

The heating calculator shows annual costs and helps to find the best solution for a house.

Thermal renovation and energy saving

In principle, the first step should be to thermally renovate the building before replacing the heating system. This can save about half the energy and thus also the costs. But smaller and less costly measures also pay off: “If, for example, the upper floor ceiling is insulated, about 15 to 20 percent of the energy needed for heating can be saved. This measure can often even be carried out by oneself and pays for itself in a short time,” says expert Herbert Tretter.

In addition, various best practices as well as tips and tricks are available on the REPLACE website: For example, if the room temperature is lowered by only 1 degree, this saves 6 per cent of the required energy. “If you set the thermostat to 21 degrees instead of 24 degrees during the entire heating period in winter, you need 18 percent less energy,” Tretter sums it up.


The main goal of REPLACE is to inform and motivate people in Europe to replace their old and inefficient heating systems with environmentally friendly alternatives. This is necessary to achieve climate targets and make Europe independent from oil, coal and natural gas. The project, funded by the EU under the Horizon 2020 programme, is being implemented by the Austrian Energy Agency with ten partners in nine European regions with 8 million inhabitants until April 2023. A unique feature of the project is the approach of involving all key stakeholders on site, such as politicians, professional associations, energy suppliers, end customers and many more, and developing appropriate measures.


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