Consumers interpret the efficiency label very differently
Kassel. In a recent survey on behalf of the industry initiative "Zukunft Erdgas," the forsa institute has ascertained what consumers understand by a "good efficiency class" for boilers: 45 of those surveyed assume that this means especially efficient conversion of the fuel into heat. 30 percent of respondents believe a good efficiency class indicates particularly ecological heating, while 19 percent believe a green label denotes that the boiler is especially cost-effective.
However, for the boiler label – unlike with refrigerators – different types of device are in fact assigned sweepingly to different classes, depending on the integration of renewable energies and efficiency of the technology. Factors of relevance to consumers, such as operating costs and carbon footprint, are not taken into account.
One example illustrates how easily the efficiency label can lead to misunderstandings – and how much more important expert consulting will be for consumers in future. As of September, a natural gas condensing boiler with a solar thermal system will be awarded the very good label label A+ and the split electric heat pump the even better label A++.
Yet a comparative model calculation by the Institute for Building Systems Engineering Research and Application shows: The better label with regard to costs and climate is in this case the worse choice. The electric heat pump is not only more expensive to purchase, but also entails higher operating costs. And the combination of natural gas and solar also comes off better (than the heat pump) in terms of environmental impact.