April 20, 2023 -Durt Fibo


In statements to the Rheinische Post and Die Zeit today, Vaillant CEO Norbert Schiedeck summed up the current energy situation by saying “We assume that without a major conversion, up to 70 percent of the buildings in Europe can be heated withheat pumps,” [Vaillant-Chef hält 70 Prozent der Gebäude für wärmepumpengeeignet. Wärmepumpen nur für Neubauten? Falsch, sagt der Vaillant-Chef. Viele Gebäude seien geeignet, Umbauten brauche es nicht immer. Er sieht auch bald kürzere Lieferzeiten. “Heat pumps only for new buildings? Wrong, says the Vaillant boss. Many buildings are suitable, conversions are not always necessary. He also sees shorter delivery times soon.”].

Heat pumps are generally 3 to 5 times more energy efficient than gas boilers, and can be intertwined with other heating systems, such as gas, in hybrid configurations. Many of the heat pumps can also generate space cooling to act as air conditioners in overheated locations.

Vaillant is one of the two market leaders for heat pumps in Germany – and potentially for a broad Europe actively recovering from a Russian fuel dependency which had been built on extemporaneous political premises.

Schiedeck clarified that “Additional measures are necessary for the other buildings – from replacing a few radiators to building insulation. This depends on the energetic condition of the building. For buildings with a very low insulation standard, the installation of a so-called hybrid system is a solution, a combination of gas heating and a heat pump.” The gas heating would only kick in on the few days when outside temperatures are extremely low. In this way, the “65 percent rule” in the new building energy laws can be met.

As of this writing, there are still long delivery times for heat pumps: “We currently have delivery times of between three and six months, but we assume that they will be further reduced over the course of the year,” said Schiedeck. While the 140-year-old company is clearly integrated into the still chaotic reconception of Europe-wide energy services, and heat pumps have detractors, the coordination between energy developers and construction laws show that Europe and the EU are responding to emergent realities far more smoothly than most other regions.