The new law will go into force Dec. 5, 2009, and apply to all new buildings constructed after that date. At present, some 85 percent of all heating subscriptions in Turkey are for combination boilers.
Ali Eren, chairman of the Boiler and Pressure Vessel Manufacturers’ Union, or KBSB, noted the new legislation is a positive development, as it is likely to improve indoors safety. "Albeit on surface the new legislation may seem like a minor issue, it represents a revolutionary step to the right direction," he said at a news conference yesterday in Istanbul.
Combination boilers drew notable negative publicity after scores of people in big cities died from carbon monoxide poisoning due to faulty natural gas combination boilers last year. "The gas that can leak from combination boilers reduces oxygen in the air, creating risk of fire and poisoning. During New Year’s Eve, we unfortunately witnessed this sad reality," Eren said, referring to the deaths of seven university students in Ankara.
"It is possible to reduce these kind of accidents by taking safety measures into consideration, do controls and educate consumers. But it cannot be forgotten that some 5.3 million buildings in Turkey are heated with appliances that emit gas. The systematic risk of an accident is definitely higher than nil," he added. The most important dimension of the new legislation is that the use of central heating in new residential units will bring energy bills down by 10 to 30 percent.
"With a new appliance attached in each radiator, residential units will be charged only for the energy they use. In case all combination boilers in Turkey are changed to central heating, the total drop in gas bills would amount to $2 billion," Eren noted.
More widespread use of central heating is also likely to reduce Turkey’s dependence on energy imports and reduce energy consumption by approximately 20 percent by 2020.