Large savings potential in heating costs and CO2 emissions - heating index
Clean Energy Wire
There is still a lot of untapped potential for saving costs and reducing emissions in the heating sector in Germany, according to the newly published Heizspiegel 2021 heating index, published as part of the federal environment ministry’s Mein Klimaschutz climate protection advisory service. Efficient heating could reduce costs by around 14 billion euros and climate-damaging emissions by around 58 million tonnes of CO2 per year, according to the index based on some 30 million centrally heatied households throughout Germany. The index shows the stark difference between refurbished, energy-efficient and non-refurbished buildings: Residents of a 70-square-metre apartment in an energy-efficient building with natural gas heating paid an average of 475 euros for heating last year. For residents of an apartment building with poor energy efficiency, heating costs were more than twice as high -- around 965 euros, with CO2 emissions correspondingly higher. The index also illustrates that not only major renovation measures help to protect the climate but also small improvements, such as using energy-saving ventilation, modern thermostats or water-saving shower heads reduce consumption, cut costs and avoid CO2 emissions. As part of its building renovation support, the federal government funds up to 45 percent of conversion costs when switching to heating with renewable energy sources. Germany recently doubled its funding for building renovations this year to 11.5 billion euros in order to cut CO2 emissions.
German homes remain a major hurdle on the path to climate neutrality as they are responsible for around one-third of the country’s emissions. At the start of the year, the German government introduced a CO2 price on fuels in the heating and transport sectors, starting at 25 euros per tonne of CO2 and set to rise in the coming years.