A Market Assessment for Condensing Boilers in Commercial Heating Applications

Date Published

January 1, 2001


The goal of this study was to assess the potential for pursuing a formal market transformation initiative for condensing boilers. Two boiler retrofits were studied to better understand first costs, benefits, and life cycle costs of condensing boilers for specific applications. Findings included: 1. The market for condensing boilers represent only about 2% of the total commercial-scale boiler market. The market share is small because the price premium for a condensing boiler is up to 3 times that of a conventional boiler. There is lots of room for improvement in sales of condensing boilers. 2. Without a market transformation initiative, the market share is likely to remain static. With a supported initiative, the market share could potentially rise to 28% in 2020, saving 1.37 trillion more Btus/year by 2020. 3. Technical requirements limit the suitability of condensing boilers in many commercial applications. 4. Competitive alternatives severely limit the applicability of condensing boilers in all market segments. 5. Most commercial building owners, who do not pay their tenants’ energy bills, will often make boiler purchase decisions based solely on the magnitude of the total installed cost and will therefore not purchase the higher-cost condensing boiler. 6. The absence of an infrastructure or organization to promote this technology and provide training, marketing and design tools is significant barrier. 7. Condensing boilers appear attractive in the school and Federal buildings segments because the decision makers in these two sectors rely more on the magnitude of the life cycle costs of the boilers than on first costs to make their purchase decisions. 8. the sales of commercial scale boilers are highly concentrated in the Northeast and Midwest and it is recommended that any program that is offered be started in one or both of these regions.



Consortium for Energy Efficiency