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Making heating and cooling for European consumers efficient, economically resilient, clean and climate-friendly

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - REPLACE (Making heating and cooling for European consumers efficient, economically resilient, clean and climate-friendly)

Reporting period: 2019-11-01 to 2021-04-30

With heating and cooling comprising roughly 50 % of the final European energy consumption, permanently reducing consumption and increasing the share of renewables in this sector is paramount for a successful Energy Union.

The main overall objective is to implement targeted campaigns in ten target regions in nine European countries to make heating and cooling (HC) for European consumers efficient, economically resilient and climate-friendly. Building on the outcomes and lessons learned from previous projects and on the consortiums strength and experience in involving various stakeholders, REPLACE acts locally to effectuate actual changes. All activities of REPLACE aim to inform and motivate consumers to replace their old and inefficient HC appliances with better, greener alternatives with the benefit of monetary savings and improvements in air-quality, comfort, safety, and security of supply.
In order to lay the groundwork for further project activities, the first step was an analysis of infrastructural requirements and the legal and regulatory framework for the decarbonisation of the heating and cooling sector in Work Package 2. On this basis, main drivers, barriers and examples of good practice were identified, respective to each target region.

In Work Package 3 the project partners analysed the socio-economic motives and mind-sets of key stakeholders, as well as their perceptions, attitudes and interests. In this regard, analyses related to each end consumers, intermediaries and investors, were developed for each target region. In order to prepare regional inventories, a statistical study of the heating systems market in all ten partner regions was conducted to identify a realistic activation potential for replacement activities to be reached by REPLACE.

The Activities carried out within Work Package 4 aimed at developing and providing instruments that will facilitate end users and other stakeholders to take informed boiler or oven replacement decisions. The following instruments have been prepared:

- An assessment matrix to determine the most suitable renewable heating system for a building, depending on its energy consumption level and building type and local conditions
- A practical guide (available in 9 languages) to end-users who are considering replacing their heating system, including concise factsheets, which present the renewable HC technologies currently available.
- A handbook (available in 9 languages) for intermediaries and investors, providing information on innovative business models, financing issues, best practice examples and model contracts, including technology factsheets with planning guidance information.
- A catalogue of best practice examples of boiler and oven replacement projects and innovative approaches of replacement measures already implemented

At the same time, the online tool named “REPLACE your Heating System Calculator” is being developed with the purpose to calculate the benefits and costs of real-life replacement projects.

Work Package 5 aims at preparing the ground for regional replacement campaigns, by multi-dimensional enabling activities.

In order to be able to develop region-specific measures, a total of 10 Local Working Groups (LWG) were formed, one for each target region. These LWG comprise of representatives from municipalities, installers, operators of district heating or cooling networks and other important stakeholders to achieve the REPLACE goals. Regular LWG meetings were and will be organised in order to discuss and agree on the preparation and implementation of the campaigns. So far, two to three full LWG meetings have been held in all target regions.
Furthermore, in each target region reasonable and realisable collective action for the near future were defined in the LWG. On that basis an adequate implementation strategy was already or will be elaborated. Subsequently, activities will be carried out to foster their implementation.

During the first reporting period, one Energy Summit was held in January 2021, organised in Germany. Most other partners also already made plans about the venue, format, content and target groups of their Energy Summits.

Work package 6 is dedicated to the implementation of replacement campaigns, which include activities that shall inform consumers about sustainable heating solutions and motivate them to replace their fossil fueled or any old, inefficient heating systems.

To this end, a tailor-made action plan for each pilot region was prepared, specifying activities/measures, time-frames, involved stakeholders and all other necessary details for the actual implementation. Nearly all pilot regions started to implement at least one or more of the planned activities since March 2021 like originally planned, despite Covid-19 challenges.

A website was set up, which informs the target groups on replacement news and events in their regions and countries and contains information on REPLACE in all relevant project languages. The website is regularly updated and tracks stable session numbers between around 7,000 and 11,000 per month.

Despite of the Covid-19 pandemic, partners were able to present REPLACE at 15 events in person or online. Concerning media and press work, 243 media activities were tracked for all project partners, including press releases etc. Over 200 social media activities via REPLACE as well as project partners’ accounts demonstrate a wide reach of the project.
In most pilot regions advisory tools like the heating matrices, showing which renewable heating systems can be recommended for different housing types (depending on the quality of its building shell or heat consumptions respectively) by an easy to understand traffic light system, were not developed yet.
The same applies to the REPLACE Your Heating System Calculator. The tool will help both, end consumers and professionals to make informed decisions on a techno-economical basis and includes a lot of information stemming from the handbooks for end consumers and intermediaries and best practice examples. Intermediaries can use the tool, as a white-label tool for advisory and business. It will be hosted until Nov 2025, three years beyond project duration and will be kept updated by the project partners all the time.
Finally, the Austrian pilot region Salzburg is on a good pathway to being able to offer a novel one-stop-shop for boiler replacements towards renewable energy and district heat. 15 suppliers committed themselves to offer all services required from one hand. Given a third-party, public financing of the one-stop-shop provider platform, it shall go online as a beta version in autumn this year. Intensive talks are running to expand the platform to other Austrian provinces as the suppliers and some policy makers are interested in a wide-spread offer of that service, being new in Austria.

However, the central element in the implementation of the project will be the implementation of the replacement campaigns in all target regions, which will take place in the second period of the project. Through all measures, we aim to lead to renewable energy investments of more than 3 million euros and thereby achieve primary energy savings of more than 2.5 GWh and greenhouse gas emission savings of more than 1,500 t CO2-eq. Through the project's communication and dissemination activities so far, over 150,000 people have already been reached, which underlines the interest in our activities.
Logos of all partners of the REPLACE project
Overview of involved target countries of the REPLACE project