Robert Habeck (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen), Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, at an appointment. © Carsten Koall/dpa
In the dispute over the Heating Act, an owners' association – unlike the Chancellor – does not want a decision before the summer break. According to an expert opinion, parts of the law are unconstitutional.
Berlin – The planned Building Energy Act is once again causing a stir. "The traffic light coalition must not whip the planned heating law of Economics Minister Habeck through parliament before the summer break," said the head of the owners' association Haus und Grund, Kai Warnecke, according to a statement on Friday. The discussion of the past few weeks has shown that the project can still be steered in a reasonable direction, Warnecke said.
Habeck's heating law: According to expert opinion, partially unconstitutional
Meanwhile, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) expects a quick solution. Government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said in Berlin on Friday that he could "see an unchanged confidence in the Chancellor that this will happen in the coming week." When asked whether this meant that the so-called heating law would then also come to the Bundestag, he replied with "yes".
Sharp criticism of the law also comes from Bavaria. According to an expert opinion, the Heating Act is partially unconstitutional. It violates the principle of equality in Article 3 of the Basic Law in several points, said the Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs Hubert Aiwanger (Free Voters), who had commissioned the legal opinion. The best example is the age limit of 80 years for exemption from the obligation to replace the heating system, said Aiwanger on Friday: Owners under 80 years of age would be treated completely arbitrarily differently than older ones.
Heat transition: Reform of municipal heat planning
With the Building Energy Act, the German government wants to herald the farewell to oil and gas heating systems as early as next year. According to the draft law, from 2024 onwards, 65 percent of every newly installed heating system should be powered by renewable energies.
In addition to a reform of the Building Energy Act, the traffic light coalition is also planning a reform of municipal heat planning. According to the draft law, states and municipalities are to present concrete plans in the coming years on how they want to convert their heating infrastructure to be climate-neutral. This is intended to give citizens an important orientation by finding out whether their house will soon be connected to a district or local heating network or whether they should convert their heating system to a heat pump in the foreseeable future.
It is "not far-fetched to talk about an obligation for households to connect to an existing heating network," said Ingbert Liebing, chief executive of the Association of Municipal Companies (VKU), the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung. Compared to individual solutions such as heat pumps or gas boilers, heating networks have the advantage that when switching to renewable energy sources, "all connected buildings benefit in one fell swoop" and homeowners are rid of their heating worries. (lma/dpa)