05 May 2023, 13:32
Carolina Kyllmann

Vast majority of costs to switch heaters should be subsidised – Greens parliamentary group

Clean Energy Wire

Funding opportunities to replace heating systems to ones which run using renewable sources should be increased to cover up to 80 percent of the total costs, the Green Party parliamentary group has proposed. Germany is working to pass a law that would see a de facto ban on the installation of new fossil-fuel-run heating systems from 2024 in a bid to accelerate the transition to decarbonised heating. Under the existing proposal presented by the federal cabinet in April, 50 percent of conversion costs would be covered. “All people should be able to participate in the heating transition,” parliamentary group leader Katharina Dröge said. “To do this, we must enable people by significantly expanding financial support, especially for low-income earners, and stagger it socially. The proposal would see homeowners with lower income receive bigger subsidies. Households with a yearly income of up to 20,000 euros could receive the maximum funding of 80 percent, while households with an income of 60,000 would be able to receive 40 percent of the total costs, with steps in between.

The move towards decarbonised heating has caused a stir among homeowners, who worry about costs, and within the government’s coalition parties; with the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) especially vouching to allow hydrogen boilers and increasing transition periods. At an event organised by the Green Party parliamentary group, economy minister Robert Habeck said the de-facto oil and gas heating ban is necessary to achieve the country’s goal of becoming climate neutral by 2045. “We have shown we can achieve much more than we thought possible,” Habeck said, referring to the fact that Germany managed to cut gas demand by around a quarter in the second half of 2022. Currently, 80 percent of heating demand in the country is met with fossil fuels. The cabinet expects the law – which would see that every newly installed heating system is powered by at least 65 percent renewable energy "if possible" – to be passed by parliament by summer.

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