09 Oct 2019, 10:40
Freja Eriksen

Most Germans who switch energy source in heating opt for natural gas – study

Clean Energy Wire

Most customers in Germany (80%) choose natural gas if they decide to switch energy sources when renewing their heating system, shows a study by utilities association BDEW. Since 2009, natural gas heating replaced oil-based systems in about 275,000 buildings. Over the same period, only 17,000 buildings switched from oil to district heating. Around 2.7 million buildings with oil heating systems in Germany are located in an area that is already connected to a gas pipeline or a district heating network, commented BDEW head Stefan Kapferer. By connecting them, "14 million tonnes of CO2 could be avoided quickly and easily”, he said. The study showed that almost 30 percent of residential buildings and 25 percent of apartments in Germany used oil-fired central heating. This was only topped by natural gas, which was used in about 46 percent of both residential buildings and apartments. BDEW highlighted that it is already possible to operate modern gas heating systems with green gases.

The German government's newly agreed climate package promises that the cost of replacing old heating systems can be reduced by up to 20 percent through tax deduction. While the government plans to legally ban the installation of new oil-fired heating systems by 2026 if more climate-friendly alternatives are available, a "swap premium" for old oil-fired heating systems will also repay up to 40 percent of the costs for a new and more efficient system. Kapferer called said it was "long overdue" that the German government now plans to introduce tax deductions for energy-related refurbishments.

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