Berlin slashes building renovation funding to speed up heater replacement

(EurActiv, 12 Sep 2022) The German government’s funding priorities have shifted away from supporting renovations to speeding up the switch from gas boilers to heat pumps, a move which leaves energy efficiency activists dismayed.

Households are one of the main consumers of gas in Germany, with around 10 million individual gas boilers installed. So to reduce consumption, the German government is putting the priority on moving consumers towards electric heat pumps.

But due to budgetary constraints caused by Germany’s infamous “debt brake”, another priority had to be sacrificed: building renovation funding.

The move, announced discreetly in July when media attention was low, has left campaigners furious.

“We are stunned by the changes to the federal funding for efficient buildings,” said Barbara Metz, federal director of the NGO Environmental Action Germany (DUH).

“This overnight action is a rejection of climate protection in the building sector,” she fumed.

Activists are quick to point the finger at Robert Habeck, Germany’s vice-chancellor and minister for economy and climate action, who is in charge of the funding aspects of the law.

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EurActiv, 12 Sep 2022: Berlin slashes building renovation funding to speed up heater replacement