Climate-friendly heating: new Building Energy Act to be implemented

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A change in the way we heat buildings is needed to protect the climate Climate-friendly heating: new Building Energy Act to be implemented

As of January 2024, as many newly installed heating systems as possible will be powered at least 65 percent by renewable energy sources. The continued operation and repair of existing heating systems will be permitted. The legislation provides for generous transition periods and exemptions, substantial social compensation payments, and a comprehensive range of subsidies.

6 min reading time

Using renewable energies for heating purposes makes an important contribution to climate protection. The aim is to ensure that, as of January 2024, as many newly installed heating systems as possible will be powered 65 percent by renewable energy sources.

The switch to renewable energies will be well worth the cost in the long term. The intention is to avoid placing people under an unmanageable financial burden and financial support will be available.

Photo: Federal Government

The Federal Government is launching a comprehensive push for modernisation with the amendment to the Building Energy Act. The aim is also to push ahead with the heating system transformation needed to protect the climate. "We are doing this with a clear and deliberate focus on newly installed heating systems," Robert Habeck, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, explained.

In this way the Federal Government is sending out a clear signal to the effect that anyone investing in a new heating system must ensure that it is sustainable because a heating system installed today will be in use for 20 to 30 years. "We are including transitional periods, exemptions and, above all, a reorganisation of subsidy arrangements to mitigate social hardship," said the Minister as he introduced the amendment to the Building Energy Act, which was approved by the Federal Cabinet. "So, we are also providing financial support to enable citizens to replace their heating systems."

Nobody would have to sell their house, said Minister for Housing, Urban Development and Building Klara Geywitz adding: "We will be providing ancillary support and tax measures to ensure that no one is overburdened by the new requirements. We need a solution that suits the residents of every flat and house precisely because people only have one home."

Heating with fossil fuels is damaging the climate and is becoming increasingly expensive

But it would be cost prohibitive to install gas or oil heating systems and no one would do so in future, said Geywitz. "How we heat our homes has a direct impact on our wallets," she added: "Gas will probably never be as cheap as it was before the war in Ukraine." Those who were relying on legacy systems were increasingly investing in money-draining technology, she said, adding that this legislation offered a solution that was socially acceptable, economically feasible, and ecologically meaningful. This is because, so far, the climate targets have not been met in the building sector, which is why the Federal Government is launching this emergency programme. Using renewable energies for heating purposes represents an important building block for climate protection.

Important questions and answers concerning the Building Energy Act:

How will homeowners be affected as of 1 January 2024 and who will be required to use renewable energy for heating from then on?

Are new heating systems subject to any legal requirements?

What exceptions and what transition periods does the legislation provide for?

How will the switch to new renewable energy-based heating systems be funded?

Is there a time limit for heating with fossil fuels?

Why is the heating transition necessary?

More questions and answers on the Building Energy Act can be found on the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs webpage . Click on the following link to read more about the subsidy scheme for heating with renewable energies