Homeowners concerned about German ministry’s plans for de-facto oil and gas heating ban
Plans by the German economy and climate protection ministry (BMWK) to de-facto ban the installation of new oil and gas heating systems from 2024 are generating great uncertainty among homeowners, business daily Handelsblatt reports. Large numbers of people in the country are seeking professional consultations about heating systems, thermal insulation and support programmes. "Many consumers are concerned," said Ramona Pop, head of the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (VZBV). This is also evident from a significant increase in current enquiries at the energy consultation centers of consumer protection organizations, the newspaper notes. The VZBV has registered a total of 41,530 consultations since the beginning of the year – a 32 percent increase compared to the same period in 2022. The main topics of the enquiries were renewable energy sources and heating technology, followed by structural thermal insulation and support programmes, according to the association. The figures reflect an upward trend in consultations regarding matters of energy: Last year, 280,000 citizens nationwide sought the advice of consumer advocates – an increase of 57 percent compared to 2021.
Germany’s coalition government – formed by the Social Democrats (SPD), the Green Party and the pro-business Free Democracts (FDP) – are edging closer to an agreement on whether newly installed heating systems have to be fuelled with at least 65 percent renewables from next year. This would de-facto ban on new fossil fuel heating systems one year earlier than originally agreed on in the coalition treaty. The government pulled the target forward to 2024 in response to the energy crisis, but the draft law is facing opposition from coalition partners. Over 80 percent of Germany’s heating demand is met with fossil fuels, which largely need to be imported, according to a BMWK report. The heating industry has warned against a hasty ban on new gas and oil heating systems, with industry representatives saying that house owners could be incentivised to quickly invest in new gas heating systems before these are banned, Spiegel reported.