The coalition has been fighting over the heating law for months. Robert Habeck’s ministry is now presenting a new estimate of the climate effect. This is lower than expected.
Shortly before the planned Bundestag resolution on the heating law, the Ministry of Economics presented a new calculation for CO2 savings. Accordingly, the climate protection effect of the law will be less than expected. The reason is extensive changes in the parliamentary procedure to the original draft of the Building Energy Act (GEG), which will be decided on Friday.
As the ministry announced on Thursday, with regard to the original draft law, it is assumed that around three quarters of the actually planned greenhouse gas reductions are possible by 2030 in the new version – “maybe a little more, maybe less”. This new estimate is based on a calculation by the Öko-Institut. “Bild” had calculated new numbers.
For the draft law passed by the cabinet in April, the ministry expected savings of around 54 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents by 2030. For comparison: in 2022, CO2 emissions in the building sector were around 112 million tons. This meant that legal requirements were missed.
From 2030 to 2040, the climate protection effect of the GEG with the current amendment will also be somewhat lower than previously assumed, the ministry said. “The CO2 reduction effect, i.e. the saving of CO2, will become increasingly stronger over time.”
Differences in different scenarios
In the new estimate, the Öko-Institut works with three scenarios and the worst case. In its statement, the ministry refers to a medium scenario with “favorable framework conditions”. According to the institute, this would result in a total CO2 saving of 39.2 million tons by 2030. In the worst case scenario, the vast majority of affected building owners would not opt for GEG-compliant heating until the planned submission of a municipal heating plan – for large cities this is planned by mid-2026, for smaller and medium-sized cities by mid-2028. In this case, the CO2 savings would total 10.8 million tons by 2030.
The ministry argued that it was important to provide citizens with “comprehensive and fact-based” information. It referred to the planned realignment of state funding with “attractive incentives” to decide early on climate-friendly heating. The consultation will also address the fact that it is still legally possible to install conventional gas heating for a transitional period, but this is becoming increasingly uneconomical.
The GEG aims to make heating in Germany more climate-friendly by gradually replacing oil and gas heating systems. The version, which was changed mainly due to pressure from the FDP, essentially provides for a postponement of the heating replacement for existing buildings and an interlinking with heat planning in municipalities.