“Urgent action” needed to speed up energy-efficient building renovation – industry association

(Clean Energy Wire, 15 Feb 2024) Eastern German cities are taking the lead on energy-saving building upgrades, but the nationwide pace falls well short of climate targets, according to the Federal Association for Energy Efficient Building Envelopes (BuVEG).

“The renovation rate in Germany is less than 1 percent, and the trend is falling sharply. This is alarming and there is an urgent need for action,” Jan Peter Hinrichs, head of the BuVEG, said in a press release.

Buildings are responsible for around a third of Germany’s primary energy consumption and 40 percent of CO2 emissions. The sector is proving tough to decarbonise – particularly as Germany faces a shortage of affordable housing and developers have complained of the high costs of meeting efficiency standards. In September, the federal government decided to suspend tighter efficiency regulations for new buildings that had been set to come into force in 2025.

Eastern German cities tend to have less energy-hungry building stock due to a refurbishment drive following reunification in the early 1990s, as well as a greater proportion of new-build properties than the west, Handelsblatt reports. According to BuVEG’s calculations – based on data from property listings – the city of Leipzig had the most efficient building stock in 2023, followed by Chemnitz and Dresden. 

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Clean Energy Wire, 15 Feb 2024: “Urgent action” needed to speed up energy-efficient building renovation – industry association