Federal Cabinet Adopts Amendments of Energy Savings Act and Energy Savings Ordinance

Yesterday the German government adopted amendments of the Energy Savings Act (EnEG) and of the Energy Savings Ordinance (EnEV). The ordinances intend to tighten the energy savings requirements for new buildings.

The EnEV amendment provides for a reduction of the annual primary energy consumption of new buildings in the years 2014 and 2016 by on average 12.5% and a reduction of the mean heat transfer coefficient of the building’s envelope by on average 10%. The requirements for existing buildings will not be tightened. Besides the energy performance certificate as a means of information for prospective buyers and tenants of buildings is further strenghened (for more information, please see here). In accordance with the recast Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings, an inspection and control system for energy performance certificates is introduced.

The competent ministries of Building (BMVBS) and Economics (BMWi) pointed out that energy savings targets for existing buildings are not being raised by the amendments in view of the already high standards and the cost-benefit ratio. Past experience had shown that energy efficiency would best be achieved by incentives for private measures rather than legal requirements, Liberal Economics Minister Philipp Rösler said.

The German government aims to achieve an almost carbon-neutral building stock by 2050. An Act on Fiscal Measures Promoting Energy-Efficient Renovations of Residential Buildings formed part of the legislative package for the energy policy shift made in 2011. It aimed at promoting the energy-efficient renovation of residential buildings older than 1995 as of 2013 by giving tax incentives totalling EUR 1.5 billion, but was rejected by the Federal Council (Bundesrat). A compromise could not be found in the Mediation Committee of the Bundesrat and the Bundestag (Parliament) so that the bill, which expressly required consent by the Bundesrat (so-called consent law), could not become law.  In a statement recorded in the minutes of the mediation committee meeting, the government announced to launch a new KfW Development Bank support programme for energy-efficient renovation worth EUR 300 million annually. In January KfW announced the start of the new programme.

Source: Federal Government; Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development

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