Energy: Corrections to the heating law required

Energy: Corrections to the heating law required

The debate about replacing the heating system was more about affairs than content. Now it’s the Bundestag’s turn – and no rapprochement in the traffic light coalition in sight.

After the resignation of State Secretary for Energy Patrick Graichen, the focus shifted to correcting the content of the law on heating replacement that he had drawn up.

SPD and FDP again called for improvements during the deliberations in the Bundestag. “We will make the law a good law together in the parliamentary process,” said FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr of the German Press Agency. “How long that will take is secondary if the result is right.”

According to the draft law passed by the Federal Cabinet, from 2024 every newly installed heating system should be operated with 65 percent renewable energy. This should apply to all owners up to 80 years of age. Existing oil and gas heaters can continue to be operated, broken heaters can be repaired. This is how the farewell to climate-damaging gas and oil heating systems is to be heralded. According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the switch should be “supported by targeted funding”, which also cushions social hardship. However, details are still disputed.

The Greens: Time is of the essence

The Greens are pushing for the law to be passed before the parliamentary summer recess in early July. The FDP, on the other hand, is demanding more time for changes – on the grounds that Parliament has lost the central contact person for the topic in State Secretary Graichen.

SPD faction deputy Matthias Miersch told the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” (Saturday) that parliamentary deliberations on the law should begin next week. “The sooner we get clarity, the better.” In the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung” (“FAS”), SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich pleaded for a quick decision with several corrections to the content. The promotion must be designed in a more social way. “I would be in favor of taking criteria such as income more into account,” he said. The FDP has so far rejected this: the party of Finance Minister Christian Lindner argued that the new heating system should not be supported, but rather the individual owner.

Mützenich also criticized the law’s one-sided focus on the heat pump, which is considered a climate-friendly alternative to oil and gas heating. “The heat pump will not work everywhere. We need a diverse technology mix, especially in existing buildings,” he said. In fact, in addition to heat pumps, the draft law also expressly mentions a connection to district heating, direct electricity heating, solar thermal and hybrid heating with heat pumps plus gas or biomass heating as options.

“Protect tenants better”

SPD leader Lars Klingbeil emphasized that tenants must be better protected, for example by not allowing the heating modernization levy to be passed on entirely to the rent. “We will also lower the age limit again,” said Klingbeil of the “Rheinische Post”. In addition, people in rural areas shouldn’t have to worry “that they have disadvantages because of their pellet heating system”.

The timetable also continues to cause debate. Thus, Mützenich suggested reconsidering when the new rules should apply. “Because the citizens need planning security, especially against the background of municipal heat planning, for example with regard to possible district heating offers.”

Heil: detox debate

Social Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) spoke out against a longer-term postponement. “It is necessary to create clarity quickly,” he told the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung”. He is for solutions that are technically feasible and socially presentable. “Climate protection needs broad social acceptance and must not only be a project for the well-to-do,” he emphasized.

Heil also called on critics to moderate: “We have to decontaminate the debate on the building energy law,” he told the newspaper. He accused the opposition CDU of “pretending that doing nothing is an alternative”.

Union parliamentary secretary Thorsten Frei (CDU) suggested that the law be set up again. “I believe that this law is fundamentally wrong. It makes no sense to turn a few individual screws,” he said in the ZDF “Morgenmagazin”. The previous draft law leads to high costs and uncertainty among the population.

Source: Stern

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