26 Oct 2022, 13:29
Carolina Kyllmann

Households reduced heating during pandemic, but not enough to reach climate targets

Clean Energy Wire

Despite reductions in heating energy demand in German households during the pandemic years 2020 and 2021, CO2 emissions haven’t dropped enough to reach climate targets, results from the heating monitor report by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIWshowed. More long-term investment in energy efficiency is needed, especially in light of the current energy crisis, DIW said. German households heated less and spent less on heating energy despite an increase in the number of people working from home. Still, CO2 emissions adjusted for temperature only fell by one (2020) and three (2021) percent, which isn’t enough to achieve climate targets, the report, which used data from the real estate service provider ista, found. “The decline in heating energy demand during the pandemic surprised us,” DIW economist Franziska Schütze said. “However, this does not change the fact that the building sector still emits too much carbon dioxide despite a slight decrease.”

To achieve climate targets for 2030, annual emission reduction of five million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in the building sector is necessary, DIW said. It adds that building renovation and insulation, heating systems based on renewable energies, and conscious heating and ventilation play a big role in ensuring energy efficiency gains and reducing CO2 emissions. The German government has allocated 13-14 billion euros annually for energy efficient buildings in the coming years, of which 12-13 billion are meant for renovation of existing buildings.

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