Heating index has a large potential for cost reductions and CO2 emissions reduction

According to the newly released Heizspiegel 2021 heating index, which is part of the federal environment ministry’s Mein Klimaschutz climate protection consulting service, there is still a lot of untapped potential for cost savings and emissions reduction in Germany’s heating industry.

According to the index, which is based on 30 million centrally heated houses throughout Germany, efficient heating could save about 14 billion euros per year and cut climate-damaging emissions by around 58 million tonnes of CO2. The indicator clearly distinguishes between renovated, energy-efficient buildings and non-refurbished structures: Last year, the average cost of heating for a 70-square-metre flat in an energy-efficient building with natural gas heating was 475 euros. Heating expenses were more than twice as high for inhabitants of an apartment complex with low energy efficiency, at about 965 euros, with CO2 emissions proportionally higher.

The index also shows that modest modifications, such as adopting energy-saving ventilation, updated thermostats, or water-saving shower heads, may assist to safeguard the environment by reducing consumption, cutting expenses, and avoiding CO2 emissions. The federal government covers up to 45 percent of conversion expenses when switching to renewable energy sources as part of its building renovation assistance. In order to reduce CO2 emissions, Germany has increased its financing for building repairs to 11.5 billion euros this year.

German houses continue to be a key stumbling block on the road to climate neutrality, accounting for around one-third of the country’s emissions. The German government put a CO2 pricing on fuels in the heating and transportation sectors at the start of the year, starting at 25 euros per tonne of CO2 and expected to grow in the following years.

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