The time will come soon: the controversial Building Energy Code will be implemented from January 1, 2024. These rights and obligations arise for consumers.
MUNICH – The building energy law has been the point of contention in 2023. The proposed law has caused discord not only in the government, but throughout society. But after many opposing votes, the Building Energy Act (GEG) was revised again. It will be implemented from January 1, 2024 and will gradually make heating in Germany more environmentally friendly. But what actually is the law and what will change as of the beginning of next year?
Heating law: Renewable energy will be used in new development areas from the beginning of the year
The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection provides information about the plans. First of all, it can be said that for many people in 2024 everything will remain as it was. Only from 2045 will all heating systems be entirely powered by renewable energy. The innovations apply immediately only to owners of new buildings in new development areas. Because from next year onwards: the new heating system must be operated on a renewable basis.
Different deadlines apply to new buildings and buildings outside new development areas. In large cities with a population of more than 100,000, new heating must be operated with renewable energy from 30 June 2026. In small cities from 30 June 2028. However, this may vary depending on the municipality. If a municipal heating plan already exists, earlier deadlines may apply. But this caused an uproar among local authorities.
From 2029, new heating systems using oil and gas must feature a share of renewable energies
Working fossil heating systems can continue to operate. Even if repairs are possible, the heater can continue to be used. However, if the heating system can no longer be repaired or is more than 30 years old, temporary solutions will apply and, in cases of difficulties, the owners can also be exempted from the obligation. Installation of heaters that use oil or gas can continue until the deadlines expire in 2026 and 2028. However, from 2029, they must be used with a verifiable share of renewable energies.
- 2029: at least 15 percent
- 2035: at least 30 percent
- 2040: at least 60 percent
- 2045: 100 percent
Building Energy Code: Financing the installation of renewable heating systems
Gas heaters can still be installed even after the deadlines have expired. But only if it runs on 65 percent green gas. Even if there is an approved and binding plan to expand the gas network to hydrogen and the possibility of converting the gas heating system to 100 percent hydrogen, it can be run on 100 percent fossil fuels until switching to the hydrogen network. For new heating systems that are at least 65% renewable, there are also subsidies in the form of grants and low-interest loans. (cal)
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