Run on oil and gas heating: waiting for the boiler

As of: October 29, 2023 5:23 p.m

Need to quickly replace your gas or oil heating system before the Building Energy Act comes into force? Many German households plan to do this. The result: extremely long waiting times for boilers.

Heating installers currently have their hands full. 2023 is the year of new heating systems. The Germans have a lot of heat pumps installed, but gas and oil heating systems are also very popular. So high that there are waiting times for months.

“We have to stall the customer at the moment and put them off until the new year because we won’t be able to get boilers in the oil and gas sector until May or June,” says Roman Salm from the state guild for sanitary, heating and plumbing technology in Saarland. The delivery bottlenecks are enormous.

High sales figures

In fact, according to the Federal Association of the German Heating Industry (BDH), more than twice as many oil heaters were sold in the first half of 2023 as in the previous year – a total of 48,500 units. However, it should be taken into account that relatively few systems were sold in 2022 due to supply uncertainties and fears of rising energy costs.

Gas heating accounts for the largest proportion of systems sold – a total of 385,000 – around a third more than in 2022. Roman Salm from the Saarland state guild attributes the high numbers, among other things, to the laborious debate about the upcoming building energy law. In addition, the funding programs for replacing older systems are currently running.

“People want to create the fact that if they have a new oil or gas boiler installed now, they will have peace and quiet for the next 25 years,” says Salm. It can also be observed that customers also want to have boilers replaced that will run for a few more years. “Of course we try to advise the customer so that they only throw out the boiler when it makes sense.”

Also sold many new heat pumps

But heat pumps are also very popular with customers. Almost 200,000 systems were sold in the first half of the year – also more than twice as many as in the previous year. Overall, the BDH expects that well over a million devices will be sold this year.

However, this market situation is only a snapshot. According to an internal survey by the BDH, 85 percent of members assume that the market will decline significantly in the first quarter of 2024. This can also be seen in the fact that funding applications have declined.

Long waiting times expected

Roman Salm from the state guild for plumbing, heating and plumbing technology is now assuming that at least the waiting times for oil or gas boilers will not be shorter in the near future. First, the many orders and orders would have to be processed.

And even beyond January 1, 2024. Then the Building Energy Act comes into force. It stipulates that heating systems powered by 65 percent renewable energy will be installed in most new buildings. There are transition periods for all other buildings.

Consumer advocates advise against installing a new gas or oil heating system. Starting next year, CO2 prices are expected to continue to rise, making heating with fossil energy even more expensive.

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