Homeowners’ worst fears for future heating are not materializing after all. The traffic light coalition has modified its plans to ban the installation of new gas and oil heating systems.
Despite the planned exceptional and transitional regulations for the ban on installing new gas and oil heating systems from the beginning of 2024, the opposition continues to criticize the traffic light coalition’s project. The climate protection and energy policy spokesman for the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Andreas Jung, still sees many open questions about which the federal government must create comprehensive transparency in the short term.
For example, it should be clarified whether there should actually be a ban on biomass heating for new buildings and whether heating with pellets is still possible. The CDU MP criticized that it was also unclear how the state would support investments and provide support specifically for financially weak households.
The traffic light coalition had previously reached a compromise on the controversial building energy law by banning the installation of new gas and oil heating systems. According to information from the Federal Ministry of Economics and Building yesterday, there is now a completed draft law supported by all three parties. He should promptly go to the state and association hearing and then to the cabinet.
That is what the bill provides
Accordingly, it remains the case that from January 1, 2024, every newly installed heating system must be operated with 65 percent renewable energies. However, there should be exceptions, transition periods and comprehensive funding. According to the information, the originally planned replacement obligation for functioning oil and gas heating systems will be waived.
If old heating systems break down beyond repair after 2024, an oil or gas boiler can be installed again at short notice so that, for example, you don’t have to freeze for weeks in the event of a failure in winter. However, this must then be supplemented with modern technology within three years in order to meet the 65 percent requirement. There are sometimes long delivery times for heat pumps.
The 65 percent requirement does not apply to homeowners over the age of 80 when installing new heating systems. The new law only applies if their house is inherited or sold – with a transitional period of two years. An exception to hardship should be economic efficiency if the value of the building and the investment sums are disproportionate. In addition, there is no commitment to heat pumps as an alternative to oil and gas heating; instead, openness to technology applies.
Views are divided
The Green co-chairman Ricarda Lang spoke of a “breakthrough in the heat transition”. “After the turbocharged renewables and the end of the fossil fuel burner, the traffic light paves the way to climate neutrality in another sector.” It is good that the law is now being passed quickly so that manufacturers and consumers can plan with certainty. “It is important that we cushion social hardship and thus really support people along the way. Together we can create a secure, affordable and sustainable heat supply,” said Lang.
The deputy CDU/CSU parliamentary group leader Ulrich Lange, on the other hand, criticized that the project would make construction massively more expensive. “With their plans for the building energy law, the traffic light hits the people in our country, but also the construction industry to the core,” said the CSU politician to the editorial network Germany. The fact that the support announced by Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) remains “completely nebulous” makes things even more difficult.
The expert for buildings and heating networks at the Agora Energiewende think tank, Uta Weiß, warned that the discussion about hydrogen heating systems could be misleading. She suggests that gas heating could continue to be used, she told the newspapers of the Funke media group. “For the combustion of pure hydrogen, however, even so-called H2-Ready heaters would have to be converted at great expense.” According to the coalition compromise, this type of heating should remain permissible in the future under certain conditions.