A long-awaited bill is causing a lot of controversy in the heating dispute. This is considered a crucial building block for the implementation of the heat transition.
Frankfurt – The ongoing dispute over the new Building Energy Act (GEG) with the controversial heating requirements continues to escalate. Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) and Federal Minister of Construction Klara Geywitz (SPD) have presented another law for the heat transition, which is causing a new heating upset. Now all consumers are to be examined down to the smallest detail to see exactly how much energy each individual consumes in his or her own four walls. Is the heating police now coming into all of our living rooms?
Habeck's heat plan: Heating police screen consumers down to the smallest detail for energy consumption
Accordingly, comprehensive data is to be collected in the planning of the heat transition in order to be able to have a better overview of the heat demand of buildings. This is reported by Der Spiegel. The project for the "Act on Heat Planning and Decarbonisation of Heating Networks" is based on an 89-page draft. According to the news magazine, the federal government obliges the states to draw up binding and systematic plans for heat supply. The federal states, in turn, can transfer this obligation to the municipalities.
The traffic light has been arguing for weeks about the building energy law planned by Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens). © Kay Nietfeld/ dpa
They should provide information on how specific buildings or companies are heated and how much energy is consumed. Specifically, for example, "building-specific annual final energy consumption of grid-bound energy sources of the last three years in kilowatt hours per year" is to be recorded as far as possible, as well as address, use and year of construction. The government also wants to collect information on heating networks – including capacity utilisation or route lengths.
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Construction Minister Klara Geywitz (SPD) and Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) had already announced the municipal heat plan. Habeck justified the project by saying that the heat transition could only be implemented locally, but that there was a strong need for coordination.
The German Association of Towns and Municipalities warned that the acute shortage of personnel in the municipalities could jeopardize the project. By 2035, a third of the workforce will leave, warned Chief Executive Gerd Landsberg. "This will also be a stumbling block in municipal heat planning," he told Bild.
Praise came from the Association of Municipal Enterprises. With the heat plans, municipalities have the freedom to find solutions that are best suited and the most cost-effective for citizens. They would then be able to see, for example, whether only a heat pump could be considered or whether it would be possible to be connected to the district heating network. However, a detailed cadastre is not needed.
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The energy sector expressed a similar view. "The plans of the federal government that have become known provide a sensible and well thought-out framework for nationwide and comprehensive heat planning," argued the industry association BDEW. However, he rejects the idea that the network operators should provide building-specific data and thus – without reimbursement of costs – perform a sovereign task. The abundance of data that should be collected is also viewed critically. "It is questionable whether this level of detail is necessary and expedient."
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The opposition criticized the traffic light plan as unrealistic. "After the hammer heater comes the green heating pillory," CSU General Secretary Martin Huber told the German Press Agency. By collecting data on the heating habits of citizens, the Greens wanted to create a "bureaucratic monster". However, the SPD-led Ministry of Construction is in charge of the law. (With material from dpa)