Room heating demand in German households rises for third year in a row – study
Clean Energy Wire
Energy demand for heating space in residential buildings with two or more apartments in Germany has likely risen for the third year in a row, shows a study conducted by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW). Heating energy demand per square meter, adjusted for changes in climate and weather, increased by two percent in 2018 relative to the previous year, writes DIW. The study's calculations are based on the heating bills of 300,000 households with energy company ista Deutschland. This is "an alarming signal - especially for climate protection," commented the study’s co-author Puja Singhal. The period since 2010 looks like a "lost decade" when it comes to reaching Germany's national target of reducing final energy demand in buildings (heating, cooling and warm water) by 20 percent by 2020 compared to 2008 levels, concludes the study. Investment in the modernisation of existing buildings remains at "an extremely low level," the authors write, while expenditure on energy-related refurbishments fell in 2018.
The German government aims to have a "close to climate neutral building stock by 2050." The commission charged with monitoring the country's energy transition, however, gave the country low marks on energy efficiency in its most recent June 2019 report. According to the report it is "unlikely" that Germany reaches its 2020 target for final energy use in buildings.