Last weekend, the Brussels government reaffirmed its ambitions to further reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. The goal would be to go from minus minus -40% to minus -47% of emissions compared to 2005.
To achieve this, the region wants to accelerate the phase-out of fossil fuels through several measures. One of them is the ban on installing gas boilers: “in new construction, equivalent to new or heavily renovated building permits applied for from January 2025‘ said the office of the Brussels Energy Minister. In new buildings, only heat pumps and other heating methods using electricity or wood would therefore be permitted.
End of premiums for gas condensing boilers
In 2023, the government also plans to end fossil fuel subsidies via the “Renolution” premiums. In fact, depending on their income, Brussels residents can currently fund part of the replacement of their old gas boiler with a newer condensing boiler. These premiums will therefore be phased out by next year. At the same time, the region is increasing premiums for heat pump devices and building insulation devices.
On the way to a heat pump heated “Brussels”?
“With new buildings and the requirements of the insulation standards, we actually need very little energy for heating. ‘ begins Ivan Piette, a member of ATIC, the Royal Association for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. This association defends the suppliers of the industry.If you work with a low-temperature heating network, for example underfloor heating, the heat pump is the first choice from a technological and ecological point of view.“The price of an air-water heat pump, on the other hand, is three to four times higher than that of a gas condensing boiler.”The heat pump is a larger device that requires more space. This will take up more space in the shelters“says the product expert, who also works at Viessmann, a leading manufacturer of boilers and heat pumps.”With air-water heat pumps, the evaporator must always be installed outdoors. It can be placed on the ground or on the roof. In the city, in buildings, when working with single systems, you need as many outdoor units as apartments“, explains Ivan Piette.
Additional costs and a larger space requirement: boundary conditions that must be taken into account in order to generalize this heating method in the future. In order to install such a device, an urban planning permit must often be applied for from the municipalities.
“Simplification work is in progress at all levels, including heat pumps“, takes care to specify Alain Maron, the Minister responsible for energy of the Brussels region.These works are carried out through the amendment of the decree on works of minimal importance and the reform of the spatial planning regulations. The idea is to make life easier for those who want to insulate their property or set up other heating systems“.
There are other alternative methods to gas, such as B. geothermal heat pumps. The latter are more expensive and must be taken into account when constructing the building in the plans of the foundations. Another method is heating with wood or pellets.