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Habeck ready to talk: Heating law is being re-discussed


Highlights: Robert Habeck (Greens) is willing to talk about the heating law in its current form. The Vice-Chancellor wants to meet members of the traffic light coalition from the SPD, Greens and FDP. The plans aim to ensure that from the beginning of 2024, every newly installed heating system must be powered by at least 65 percent green energy. The next part-session of the Bundestag will begin on 12 June and the regulations should be passed before the summer break.

There is criticism and requests for changes to the Heating Act from all sides. Robert Habeck wants to listen and make improvements after discussions.

Berlin – The heating law in its current form is causing a lot of criticism – and Robert Habeck (Greens) is now willing to talk. On Tuesday (30 May 2023), the Vice-Chancellor wants to meet members of the traffic light coalition from the SPD, Greens and FDP on the legislative plans for more climate protection in buildings and sound out compromise lines on the Building Energy Act. His new state secretary, Philipp Nimmermann, will also start his job after Pentecost.

Heating law: Habeck wants to take a "constructive, solution-oriented" direction

Time is of the essence to bring the draft law, which was initially held up by the FDP, to the Bundestag. The next part-session will begin on 12 June. If possible, the regulations, also known as the Heating Act, should be passed through parliament before the summer break. Habeck had previously stressed that he hoped that the discussion would now take "a constructive, solution-oriented" direction.

The plans aim to ensure that from the beginning of 2024, every newly installed heating system must be powered by at least 65 percent green energy. Alternatively, it is also possible to switch to climate-neutrally generated heat from a heating network. The changeover is to be cushioned socially, there are to be transitional periods and hardship regulations.

There could now be adjustments to the launch date. Instead of applying equally to all buildings from 1 January 2024, the start could initially only apply to new buildings. There could be further changes to the old building stock, where more time could be granted. There is also room for manoeuvre in the approved heating systems, for example in the further use of wood or wood pellets. Openness to technology is an important demand of the FDP. District heating could now also be given even more importance, especially in cities where buildings are dense. Furthermore, it is about a more generous design of the subsidy, for example for a heating change, as well as the exceptions to the obligation to switch. Here, above all, the SPD wants a clear social component.

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

Energy Association and Association of Cities criticize Habeck and the draft

There was criticism, for example, from the energy association BDEW. Its boss Kerstin Andreae called for a "substantial improvement" of the draft. It was a mistake not to seek dialogue with practitioners at an early stage, Andreae told the Süddeutsche Zeitung (Tuesday). Above all, the infrastructure had not been considered enough in the previous planning. For example, heat pumps would not be operated evenly throughout the year, but would be particularly strong in winter. "This is a huge challenge for the power grid," Andreae warned. It is also unclear to many energy companies what will become of their gas network if less and less gas is consumed.


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At the German Association of Cities, it was said that the expansion and conversion of municipal heating networks must also be promoted. "It is good that Minister Habeck is now talking about a district heating offensive. For this, the planned funding programs will have to be adjusted again," said Chief Executive Helmut Dedy of the Rheinische Post (Tuesday), which is published in Düsseldorf. In addition to individual support for homeowners, the expansion and conversion of municipal heating networks should also be promoted.

It is unclear whether there is a chance of an agreement in the talks, or whether and how the public should be informed on Tuesday. The new State Secretary Nimmermann could set the tone. The economist succeeds Patrick Graichen. He had to give up the post because of the mixing of business and private life. Habeck recently defended his employees. (CGSC with dpa)

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-05-30

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