Many people wanting to replace their domestic gas boiler with a more economical model in the face of soaring energy prices may not be able to do so this heating season, October to March, since supply issues which arose during the pandemic still have not been resolved, ERR reports.
Heating equipment firm Gaspre's board member, Epp Jürme, said: "It seems that the manufacturers are having difficulties with the supply of certain components, especially with electronic parts. The supply problems began to worsen already during the Covid period, when some suppliers workflows were disrupted. We are seeing this a lot now, and we could make even more private customers happier if we had something to offer; just those models suitable for apartments."
Wait times for gas boiler maintenance have also rise, ERR reports, though this is more normal for the time of the year.
Kersti Tumm, communications and marketing manager at Eesti Gaas, said that booking boiler maintenance now will see the work done in or by November.
"This is completely normal for the fall," Tumm said. "It's just that at the beginning of the heating season, and they deal with regular maintenance of boilers, so in the fall, the wait lines always get longer."
A representative of Katlaabi OÜ, which sells and maintains Viessmann gas boilers, told ERR however that they send a technician within a week of booking.
Boilers with larger capacities, eg from 50 KW, can now be obtained from western markets, and can replace old boilers in larger apartment houses, but the issue is more with smaller boilers used in individual apartments and houses.
Gaspre obtains its boilers from German firm Robert Bosch Termotecnik, whose factories are located in Germany, Turkey and Portugal, where for some boiler models and parts there are supply issues
Aivar Kaljur at Katlaabi OÜ said that following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in late February, there was complete silence for two or three months, because people did not know whether natural gas would be distributed at all and at what price.
This was then followed by a bumper sales season as autumn arrived and natural gas supplies were still guaranteed, exacerbated by the fact that the years 2003-2006 saw a large-scale installation of boilers in Estonia, whose life-span is now coming to an end as well.
While a resident of a private house may decide in favor of a heat pump instead, people in apartment buildings often have no other alternatives.
Editor: Andrew Whyte