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Efficient and safe hot-water boilers

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Efficient and safe hot-water boilers


Directive 92/42/EEC on efficiency requirements for new hot-water boilers fired with liquid or gaseous fuels


Hot-water boilers must meet the EU’s ecodesign requirements.


It sets out the energy efficiency* requirements for new hot water heaters or ‘boilers’ fired by liquid or gaseous fuels.


The directive applies to boilers with an output of no less than 4 kW and no more than 400 kW, specifically:

standard boilers,

low-temperature boilers,

gas-condensing boilers.

It does not apply to:

hot water boilers capable of being fired by different fuels including solid fuels,

equipment for instantly preparing hot water,

boilers designed to be fired by fuels other than the liquid and gaseous fuels commonly marketed,

cookers and appliances which supply hot water for central heating, and which supply sanitary hot water only as a secondary function,

appliances with outputs of less than 6 kW which use gravity circulation and are designed solely for the production of stored sanitary hot water,

boilers manufactured on a one-off basis - that is, produced once and therefore not manufactured as part of a series,

cogeneration units* (Directive 2004/8/EC).

Standardisation and the ‘CE’ marking

Any boiler manufactured in accordance with harmonised European standards should conform to the essential requirements set out in the directive. An assessment before affixing the CE conformity marking is carried out by:

bodies designated by EU countries in accordance with the minimum assessment criteria and notified to the Commission and the other EU countries, or

by the manufacturers themselves.


The directive is one of the measures implementing the Framework Directive 2009/125/EC on ecodesign, which set out efficiency requirements for individual product groups. It removes the option for EU countries to apply a specific labelling system to boilers which are more efficient than standard ones. Industry sectors can also make voluntary agreements to reduce the energy consumption of their products. The Commission formally approves these agreements and checks on their implementation.

The EU energy efficiency directive sets compulsory targets for EU countries in order to achieve a 20 % energy efficiency target by 2020. A series of energy efficiency regulations for boilers were published in 2013 as part of this policy. They set out minimum standards and an energy labelling scheme.

813/2013, which amends Directive 92/42/EEC, sets out the ecodesign requirements for space heaters* and combination heaters* which do not run on biomass and have an output of less than 400 kW.


* Energy efficiency: using less energy to provide the same service, i.e. less heating energy to maintain the same temperature.

* Cogeneration: the simultaneous production of electricity and heat, both of which are used.

* Space heater: a device, equipped with one or more heat generators, that provides heat to a water-based central heating system to keep an indoor space at an even temperature.

* Combination heater: a space heater also designed to provide hot drinking or sanitary water which is connected to an external supply of drinking or sanitary water.

For more information, see ‘Heaters’on the European Commission's website.


Council Directive 92/42/EEC of 21 May 1992 on efficiency requirements for new hot-water boilers fired with liquid or gaseous fuels



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 92/42/EEC



OJ L 167, 22.6.1992, pp. 17-28

Amending acts

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 93/68/EEC



OJ L 220, 30.8.1993, pp. 1-22

Directive 2008/28/EC



OJ L 81, 20.3.2008, pp. 48-50

Regulation (EU) No 813/2013



OJ L 239, 6.9.2013, pp. 136-161

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 92/42/EEC have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version is for reference purposes only.


Directive 2010/31/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 May 2010 on the energy performance of buildings (OJ L 153, 18.6.2010, pp. 13-35)

Directive 2012/27/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on energy efficiency, amending Directives 2009/125/EC and 2010/30/EU and repealing Directives 2004/8/EC and 2006/32/EC (OJ L 315, 14.11.2012, pp. 1-56)

last update 22.10.2015