Hot-water boilers

Liquid or gaseous fuel fired hot-water boilers with a rated output of between 4 kW and 400 kW must meet efficiency requirements that are harmonised across the European Union (EU). The “CE” conformity marking on a boiler shows that it complies with minimum standards.

Council Directive 92/42/EEC of 21 May 1992 on efficiency requirements for new hot-water boilers fired with liquid or gaseous fuels

This Directive comes under the SAVE Programme concerning the promotion of energy efficiency in the Community.


It determines the objectives or “essential requirements” which must be met, during manufacture and before being placed on the market, by hot-water boilers fired with liquid or gaseous fuels with a rated output of no less than 4 kW and no more than 400 kW:

  • standard boilers;
  • low-temperature boilers;
  • gas condensing boilers.

The Directive does not apply to:

  • hot-water boilers capable of being fired by different fuels, including solid fuels;
  • equipment for the instantaneous preparation of hot water;
  • boilers designed to be fired by fuels other than the liquid and gaseous fuels commonly marketed;
  • cookers and appliances designed mainly to heat the premises in which they are installed and, as a subsidiary function, to supply hot water for central heating and sanitary hot water;
  • appliances with rated outputs of less than 6 kW using gravity circulation and designed solely for the production of stored sanitary hot water;
  • boilers manufactured on a one-off basis;
  • cogeneration units (Directive 2004/8/EC).

European standardisation bodies

Harmonised European standards are drawn up on the basis of the essential requirements by the European standardisation bodies. These standards, which are not mandatory, are published in the Official Journal of the European Union and transposed in the form of national standards with identical contents.

Any boiler manufactured in accordance with the relevant harmonised standards is presumed to conform to the essential requirements.

The procedures for assessing whether new boilers conform to the essential requirements are based on the modular approach set out in Council Decision 768/2008/EEC concerning conformity assessment procedures and the affixing of the ” CE” conformity marking. The assessment of the conformity of the boilers is carried out:

  • either by bodies designated by the Member States in accordance with the minimum assessment criteria and notified to the Commission and the other Member States;
  • or by the manufacturers themselves.

Notified bodies

The NANDO (EN) database can be used to find European notified bodies as well as third country bodies that are responsible for carrying out the conformity assessment procedures referred to in the New Approach directives.

“CE” marking

The “CE” conformity marking must be affixed to boilers before they are placed on the market. This marking:

  • shows that they conform with the provisions of Directive 92/42/EEC;
  • consists solely of the initials “CE”;
  • is affixed by the manufacturer or the manufacturer’s agent established within the Community.

The Member States set penalties if they find that the “CE” marking has been affixed unduly.


Directive 92/42/EC is one of the measures implementing the Framework Directive 2009/125/EC on eco-design, which removes the option for Member States to apply a specific labelling system to boilers which are more efficient than standard ones.

The Framework Directive applies to all energy-using products placed on the market, with the exception of motor vehicles which are covered by specific legislation. All energy sources are covered and the implementing measures will probably only cover products using electricity and solid, liquid and gaseous fuels.

This Framework Directive will lead to increased long-term energy saving for the benefit of consumers, which will also help strengthen the security of energy supplies in the European Union (EU).
This measure is an example of the implementation of integrated product policy and is one of the objectives of the sixth Community environment action programme.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 92/42/EEC 3.6.1992 31.12.1992 OJ L 167 of 22.6.1992


Amending acts Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Officiel Journal
Directive 93/68/EEC 2.8.1993 1.7.1994 OJ L 220 of 30.8.1993
Directive 2004/8/EC 21.2.2004 OJ L 52 of 21.2.2004 ; corrigendum OJ L 192 of 29.5.2004
Directive 2005/32/EC 6.8.2005 11.8.2007 OJ L 191 of 22.7.2005
Directive 2008/28/EC 21.3.2008 OJ L 81 of 20.3.2008



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