Germany: Gas and oil dominate heating systems in apartments

Germany: Gas and oil dominate heating systems in apartments
Germany: Gas and oil dominate heating systems in apartments

In Germany, renewables have so far played little role in heating, as census results show. These also show that there are huge differences in rents – and some apartments are unpopular.

Three quarters of all apartments in Germany were heated with gas or oil in 2022. This is shown by the first results of the 2022 census, which were presented in Berlin. These are based on a survey of building and apartment owners. The aim of the Heating Act, which came into force at the turn of the year and was previously highly controversial, is to ensure that more climate-friendly types of heating are increasingly used.

The proportion of heat pumps only increased from the year of construction 2010 onwards. In Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate, Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and Saarland, more than one in four apartments was equipped with oil heating, while this energy source was used below average in the eastern and northern federal states.

Renewables have so far played a minor role

District heating is particularly widespread in Hamburg (35 percent) and Berlin (43 percent). In Schleswig-Holstein and the eastern states, the proportion of apartments heated with district heating was between 21 percent and 34 percent in 2022. According to statisticians, renewable energy sources have so far played only a minor role in heating residential buildings. Four percent of apartments are heated with wood or pellets. In three percent of apartments, solar or geothermal energy, environmental or exhaust air heat is used.

The census also provides insights into how much tenants in Germany have to pay for their apartments. In 2022, they paid an average of 7.28 euros in net rent per square meter. Apartments in Saxony-Anhalt were the cheapest, with an average of 5.38 euros per square meter. Looking at the federal states, the net rent was highest in Hamburg at 9.16 euros per square meter, followed by rents in Bavaria at 8.74 euros, Hesse (8.21 euros) and Baden-Württemberg (8.13 euros).

Tenants’ association calls for restrictions

Among the cities, Munich was the most expensive with 12.89 euros per square meter, after Frankfurt am Main (10.58 euros), Stuttgart (10.39 euros) and Heidelberg (10.02 euros).

“These are alarming figures that can only lead to one conclusion: we urgently need to limit the possibilities for rent increases, and we need to do so immediately,” said the President of the German Tenants’ Association (DMB), Lukas Siebenkotten. The federal government must finally make up its mind on this. “What we need is a real housing construction offensive, accompanied by ambitious rental law reforms,” ​​said the DMB President.

Rents in the capital are on average much cheaper than in Munich or Frankfurt

According to census data, Berlin was in the middle range in 2022 with an average net rent of 7.67 euros per square meter. In Potsdam, where many people who work in Berlin also live, an average of 7.85 euros was determined. This is the highest value determined for an East German city. According to census data, the city with the cheapest rents nationwide is Chemnitz, where tenants paid an average of 5.26 euros per square meter per month on the reference date.

According to the data, rents in the West are particularly cheap in buildings built in the 1970s. In the Eastern countries, the lowest rents are found in residential buildings from the 1980s.

Apartments in 1970s houses in the West particularly unpopular

According to the experts’ calculations, the extent of the differences can be seen in Berlin, for example, where the average net rent for an apartment in a building from the 1980s was 6.42 euros per square meter at the time of the survey. In residential buildings built since 2016, on the other hand, tenants had to pay an average of 12.64 euros per month. In Hamburg, people who can afford it particularly like to live in old buildings, the statisticians found. Apartments built before 1919 in Hamburg are almost as expensive as apartments completed from 2016 onwards (11.78 euros), at an average of 11.05 euros per square meter.

The total number of apartments was 43.1 million as of 2022, an increase of 2.5 million since the 2011 census. According to the information, the average area per apartment increased by three square meters to an average of 94 square meters in the same period. The largest increase in apartment size occurred in Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. The average apartment size increased the least in Berlin and Hamburg.

Source: Stern

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