10 Jul 2024, 13:30
Sören Amelang

Heat pump sales in Germany drop more than half in first months of 2024

Clean Energy Wire

Public uncertainty about the government’s new policies to decarbonise heating have led to a collapse in heat pump sales in Germany, according to the country’s heating industry association BDH. Sales dropped 52 percent to 74,000 units in the first five months of 2024, compared to the same period one year earlier. "Last year's debate about the Building Energy Act is still having an effect on people. There is still a great deal of uncertainty when it comes to modernising heating systems," said BDH managing director Markus Staudt. Overall, manufacturers sold 39 percent fewer boilers, as people are neither sufficiently aware of the technical solutions permitted by the law, nor of the available subsidies.

Following a heated and protracted controversy within the government coalition and society that was described as “one of the greatest political dramas in recent German history,” the country last year agreed on a plan to phase out fossil fuel heating systems. Advocates of a rapid transition towards low-carbon technologies such as heat pumps argued it was key to reach the country's climate targets and pointed to their low long-term running costs, while critics argued that investment costs would overburden homeowners and tenants.

As part of the plan to clean up the heating sector, which is lagging in Germany’s transition to climate neutrality, the government set the target to install 500,000 heat pumps per year from 2024, but the industry forecast that “only up to 200,000” such systems will be sold this year.

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