Coalition agrees on “guardrails” on the heating law | News from around the world

After a long struggle, a high-level group from the traffic light coalition paved the way for the controversial heating law. “Guardrails” have been agreed – these provide for significant changes to the bill. The building energy law – the so-called heating law – is to be linked to the planned law on municipal heating planning, as shown in a document available to the German press agency. Mandatory municipal heating planning should be introduced in Germany, which should be the central reference point for mandatory measures in existing buildings with corresponding transition periods.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck (Greens) and Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) took part in the negotiations on the Energy in Buildings Act.

Habeck: The heart of the heating law preserved

Habeck sees the essentials of the heating law preserved despite the changes agreed by the coalition. “The thermal transition is feasible, climate protection becomes concrete, the clear signal for the switch to climate-friendly heating is given,” said the green politician in Berlin. “We are giving people more time and better aligning municipal heating planning with the Energy in Buildings Act. I think that’s true and it’s very much in my interest.”

The parliamentary group leaders Christian Dürr (l, FDP), Rolf Mützenich (m, SPD) and Katharina Dröge (r, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen), talk about the draft amendment to the Energy in Buildings Act (GEG ) after the parliamentary debate group meetings in the German Bundestag . (© Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa)

Habeck spoke of a good negotiation result. “I am happy.” The aim is for the building energy law – known as the heating law – to be adopted by the Bundestag before the summer holidays. “This means that an important step for the thermal transition has been taken.” The energy law of the building intervenes, the core is preserved.

Overall, the agreement provides an opportunity to settle the debate and strengthen social support for climate protection. “The fact that all parties had to move in the intensive negotiations is part of it. It was important to allow the government to act. Democracy needs compromises, and it’s good if we can make them.”

Greens and FDP praise heating compromise

The Greens and the FDP welcomed the negotiated compromise on the heating law. “The building energy law is coming. We have put it on the agenda of the German Bundestag and thus create a milestone for more climate protection in Germany, but also an important law for more social justice,” said the co-leader of the Greens in the Bundestag, Katharina Dröge. Make the law even more social, maintain the high demands on climate protection and make it more pragmatic. “And with this we are taking a big step forward before the summer vacation, so that we can also pass the law before the summer in the German Bundestag.”

FDP faction leader Christian Dürr spoke of a “great step forward for the heating law”. Fundamental changes could be agreed within the coalition. Now this could enter the deliberations of the Bundestag. There will be no encroachment on property rights, stressed Dürr and once again cited openness to technology as an important point for the FDP. “The heating must adapt to the building and not the other way around.” Germany needs a new law, but an amendment that really allows all technologies.

Mützenich: The heating law will be significantly improved

According to the leader of the SPD parliamentary group Rolf Mützenich, the regulations are “significantly improved” with the coalition compromise on the heating law. One could even speak of a “paradigm shift”, declared the social democrat in Berlin. In particular, it creates reliability for consumers and tenants. Workers should not be overloaded, which is why they are supported, Mützenich said.

According to the newspaper, the plan is now:

Until there is a municipal heating plan, the Building Energy Act regulations should not apply to heat exchange. From 1 January 2024, gas heaters should be allowed to be installed if they can be converted to hydrogen. This should also apply to new buildings outside new development areas. When switching to climate-neutral heating systems, different options should be “treated equally,” he continues. Households must not be allowed to be overwhelmed with necessary new investments.

Based on the “guardrails”, the amendments to the bill must now be approved in Parliament. The first consultation is scheduled for this week. There should not be many obstacles to adoption by the Bundestag before the summer recess.

The federal government is planning a reform of municipal heating planning alongside the controversial reform of the Building Energy Act. According to the bill, states and municipalities should 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 letting them know if their home will soon be connected to a district or local heating network – or if they need to convert their heating to a heat pump or other options in the future. predictable.

Mathew Baynton

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