Directive 92/42/EEC on 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.

Regulation (EU) No 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.

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