07 Feb 2023, 13:05
Carolina Kyllmann

‘Neglected’ building renovations have cost Germany 50 billion euros – report

Clean Energy Wire / Tagesspiegel Background / ntv

The ‘neglected topic’ of building renovations and an absence of energy consumption optimisation have cost Germany an "unnecessary" 50 billion euros over the last ten years, a joint report by the German Industry Initiative for Energy Efficiency (DENEFF) and consultancy CO2Online found. Policy proposals in the report include better education of houseowners regarding the functioning of heating systems, a digital management system for buildings exceeding a certain size or a central database for energy-related information about the building stock that allows for better planning of efficiency measures. More targeted regulation and control of heating technology could permanently save ten to 15 percent of energy in the building sector, the authors said. “The energy price crisis is putting people and companies under sometimes existential strain,” said DENEFF head Henning Ellermann. “The political framework has so far been practically blind to unnecessary energy consumption of buildings caused by poor operational management.”

A plan to introduce an ‘ambitious’ Energy Eficiency Act (Energieeffizienzgesetz, EnEfG), initially expected in December 2022, has been delayed until 15 March, Tagesspiegel Background reported. Germany’s buildings sector failed to reach greenhouse gas reduction targets in 2021, and will likely also miss them in 2022. Last year, the German government adopted support schemes for energy efficiency in buildings, with a focus on renovating existing stock. However, the measures have been criticised by housing and real estate association GdW, who said the government is focusing on expensive measures with little effect, news channel ntv reported. Germany aims to reach climate neutrality in its building sector by 2045.

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