Anyone who wants to replace their old heating system, e.g. to reduce fuel consumption and save money or to protect the climate, has the choice between many different technologies. To find out which is the right one, two easy-to-use online tools have been available since July. An interactive heating matrix shows suitable technologies at a glance, and a heating calculator can be used to calculate exchange projects tailored to one’s own situation. The EU-funded REPLACE project makes these tools available to end users, professionals and investors free of charge and adapted to 9 countries.
The heating system in your old building is slowly packing up and you don’t want to use oil again. But which heating system is suitable instead? A tiled stove heating system for the whole house? A pellet central heating system, heat pump or, better still, a connection to a local heating network? Anyone who is so lost in the jungle of heating options can now get some initial orientation with the heating matrix.
In the interactive matrix, one selects one’s own building type – old building, low and very low energy house or passive house – with the cursor of one’s mouse and can then move the mouse over the various heating systems. The colouring from dark green – particularly recommendable – to red – not recommendable – shows at a glance which heating system is particularly well suited to one’s own building or not. For example, if you want to replace the oil heating system in your old building, you can quickly see that a pellet central heating system or a connection to a local heating network are particularly recommended and that heat pumps, on the other hand, are not suitable. Information fields provide additional information, e.g. what is behind the individual heating systems or why a certain combination of building type and heating is particularly recommendable or what speaks against it. As in the case of heat pumps, which do not work efficiently in unrenovated old buildings.
If the heating matrix provides orientation in the technology jungle, the heating calculator can be used to head directly for one’s goal and calculate replacement projects. For example, in order to specify the heating system replacement in an oil-heated old building, the calculator asks, among other things, how much energy the building needs, how old the heating system is or whether there is a second heating system such as a tiled stove. Information on investment costs, subsidies or maintenance costs is also possible. And with a view to switching to new technologies, users can indicate whether the building can be connected to a local heating network, pellets supplied or firewood stored. As a result, the calculator provides climate-friendly heating systems and lists their costs, CO2 emissions and comfort improvement in relation to the user’s own situation. Information sheets, good practice examples and an overview of funding opportunities are also provided for the individual technologies. Professionals and investors will find information such as planning aids for the individual technologies or advantages of renewable heating and cooling systems.
The online tools are part of the REPLACE research and innovation project. They are used together with regional campaigns such as the establishment of information points, support for community actions such as the procurement of insulation material or excursions to good practice examples. The project has one main goal, which is to motivate and support people in nine different countries to replace their old systems with greener alternatives. Simple renovation measures that reduce overall energy consumption are also part of the programme. After five years of implementation of the campaign, 144,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas are expected to be saved annually. The Austrian Energy Agency is leading the programme, which is funded by the EU under the Horizon 2020 programme. In total, 11 project partners in nine countries are joining forces to make heating and cooling in Europe cleaner and more efficient. The countries where REPLACE is in operation are Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, North Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia and Spain.