12 Jul 2023, 13:28
James Jackson

Consumer groups warn Germans against hidden costs of installing new gas boilers

Rheinische Post

Following a government decision to postpone a ban on new oil and gas boilers, German consumer protection groups have warned people against installing fossil-fuel based heating systems. Consumers could be caught in a cost trap as climate protection laws are set to increase the prices of fossil fuels annually, Ramona Pop, the head of consumer group association vzbv, told the Rheinische Post newspaper. “Gas and oil prices will rise as the CO2 price of fossil fuels increases year on year,” Pop said, adding that “in 2024 alone, the price of a tonne of CO₂ should rise by 17 percent to 35 euros.”

The economy ministry originally planned to implement a ban on the installation of new fossil fuel heating systems from January next year. Yet, this date was pushed back following intense debate between coalition partners, meaning most people will still be able to replace old gas and oil heaters with new ones for a number of years. Pop said that the debate had not improved the quality of the legislation and instead had further confused people. “Consumers still lack the necessary clarity. The confusing mixture of options overwhelms them,” she added. The heating bill still needs to be passed by parliament, after Germany’s highest court blocked a vote in the parliament’s final session before the summer break.

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