- Buildings Guide
- Policy Guide
- Appliances Guide
Germany’s comprehensive policy package, to increase the energy efficiency in new build and the building stock, aims at a 20% reduction in building heat demand by 2020. It consists of fine-tuned single measures such as Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS), a roadmap with near- and long-term goals, financial incentives and preferential loans (to exceed MEPS in new build and to trigger refurbishment), Energy Performance Certificates, individual advice and information platforms for home builders and -owners as well as for non-residential actors, professional training, the promotion of energy services, and various research and demonstration programmes.
Along with many state and local authorities and agencies, the German government-owned development bank KfW and the Germany’s energy agency Dena facilitate financial resources and further expertise in order to achieve goals set in the roadmap. The Energy Efficient Refurbishment and Construction Programmes are probably the most well-known single measures, both implemented by the KfW. While the former successfully reduced annual energy consumption by 2,450 GWh (0.4 %) in 2010, the Energy Efficient Construction Programme (and its predecessor) reached annual energy savings of 1,341 GWh between 2006 and 2010.
The KfW and the German Energy Agency Dena are the German federal government’s main agencies making Germany’s energy efficiency roadmap work. While the former provides financial incentives and preferential loans in order to promote energy efficiency in Germany’s building sector, the latter describes itself as a “centre of expertise for energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and intelligent energy systems” (Dena NA). Activities implemented by the consumer protection agencies as well as state and local governments and private initiatives complement these central government programmes.
Germany’s energy efficiency efforts have been well orchestrated: Based on the EnEV, both the Energy Performance Certificates and an additional seal of quality have been developed, and Dena has developed a certification scheme, the Efficiency House (EH, Effizienzhaus), in order to calculate energy performance of buildings. In order to increase the German refurbishment rate and to make new buildings more efficient than demanded by regulation, the government offers financial incentives for all building sectors (e.g. residential, industrial) via KfW. The KfW makes use of the EH scheme and of the financial support provided by the government for energy audits, carried out by specially trained and certified energy advisors, to determine the EPC and possibly the EH. The better the EH standard, i.e. energy performance of a building after the refurbishment/ construction process, the higher the financial incentives. Information on funding possibilities and opportunities to save energy are most prominently provided through consumer information centres and the special trained energy advisors.
In the long run, by 2050, Germany attempts to reach a building stock that emits close to zero emissions, i.e. new and existing buildings will hardly have an impact on the climate as buildings will have become highly energy efficient, and the little energy still needed will be covered by renewable energies. Moreover, buildings’ primary energy demand is to be reduced by 80%. As an intermediate step, the German government has proclaimed that it intends to reduce the heat demand by 20% by 2020 (BMWi & BMU 2010, p. 22).
According to Power/ Zulauf (2011), Germany’s energy savings roadmap is based on three pillars: legislation, financial support for energy efficiency and renewable energy, and providing information and advice.
Germany has established a comprehensive package in order to increase the energy efficiency of its building stock, which consists of 17 million residential buildings with 3.37 billion m2 (2004) of useful living area, and about 2.5 million non-residential buildings with about 2,213 million m2 of useful area (estimation by BMVBS 2011, p. 102). The Energy Concept of 2010 clearly stipulates Germany’s goal of a 20% reduction in building heat demand by 2020 and an 80% reduction in total building primary energy demand by 2050, while increasing the building refurbishment rate from 1% to 2% in the near term. The latter goal is of major importance in order to reduce building energy demand sustainably, especially because between 70% and 75% of Germany’s buildings were built before 1979 when the first Thermal Insulation Ordinance for buildings became effective. Since then, Germany has tightened its minimum energy performance standards for new buildings several times with the Energy Savings Ordinance (EnEV). New residential buildings today may only use 75 % less energy than 35 years ago (cf. figure). By requirement of the EU Directive on the overall energy performance of buildings, the MEPS will need to be further strengthened so that all new buildings from January 2021 will be nearly zero energy buildings.
Policy roadmap and targets for ultra-low energy buildings/retrofits
The Energy Concept of the federal government envisages a climate neutral building stock. This is planned to be reached a) by increasing the refurbishment rate from 1% to 2% per year and b) by pursuing a so-called double strategy of energy efficiency and renewable energies. The strategy proclaims that heating energy demand will be initially reduced by 20% by 2020 and then total primary energy demand will decrease by 80% by2050. The latter especially includes the use of renewables to satisfy energy demands.
Energy-efficient spatial planning and urban district planning
Energy-efficient urban planning is facilitated by financial incentives which are available via the KfW’s “Energetic City Refurbishment” programme (Germ.: Energetische Stadtsanierung). Funding is generated by the German Energy and Climate Fund and can be used for urban planning as well as for the refurbishment manager (KfW 2011 a).
In Germany, the development of completely new quarters or suburbs is a relatively rare case. However, in such cases several local authorities have performed energy-efficient urban district planning. One example is the Kronsberg district in the City of Hanover. Explore the policy guide and find the good practice example.
Government agencies and budget
Apart from German Energy Agency, the government-owned KfW Bankengruppe (KfW) has become a major player in making the German building stock energy-efficient. First, it administers large amounts of the budget the German government has allocated to the sector through its loan and grant programmes. Second, as the KfW is a state-owned bank it can provide further capital at low interest rates to building investors who wish to increase their building’s energy performance.
Moreover, the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (Germ.: Bundesamt für Wirtschaft und Ausfuhrkontrolle; BAFA) provides grants for on-site advice to homeowners/ -builders from energy advisors. The programme under which funds are distributed is called One-site Energy Saving Advice (Germ.: Vor-Ort-Energiesparberatung).
Under the umbrella of the Energy and Climate Fund, Germany introduced an Energy Efficiency Fund that will be hosting an incentive package for households, SMEs, industry and municipalities (BMWi 2012a, p. 10).
Removal/reduction of subsidies on end-user energy prices and on energy supply
In general, there are no energy subsidies in Germany. However, energy-intensive industries are exempted from energy taxes and other measures which increase electricity costs in Germany. According to the government, this is done to level the playing field for German industrial sectors in international and European competitive markets and, thus, to safeguard jobs in Germany.
Energy/CO2 taxation and emission trading
In Germany, a mineral oil tax (Germ.: Mineralölsteuer) on heating oil and gas increases costs for the use of these products. Moreover, an ecological tax reform was introduced in 1999 to 2003 in order to reduce environmentally harmful behaviour. The respective law (Germ.: Gesetz zum Einstieg in die ökologische Steuerreform) increased costs per kWh of electricity by around €0.02 (as well as €0.15 for each litre fuel, €0.02 per litre heating oil and €0.36 for each kWh of Gas consumption) in the years 1999 to 2003. The revenues are used to reduce the contributions by employees and their employers to the German public pension fund system.
Regulation of energy companies
For electricity and gas distribution network operators, there is a nearly full decoupling of allowed revenues from the amount of energy transported (Ordinance on the incentive regulation, ARegV). By contrast, there is no explicit cost recovery for energy efficiency programmes operated by energy companies in Germany.
Minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for buildings
The EnEV (Energy Saving Ordinance; in German Energieeinsparverordnung) stipulates the minimum energy performance for new buildings. This is also applicable to existing buildings if refurbishments are undertaken that change exterior elements by more than 10%. The EnEV came into effect in 2002 and replaced earlier MEPS that were in place starting from 1977. It was revised three times (2004, 2007, 2009). Since 2009, every new building that needs energy for cooling or heating (with some exceptions) must be built in line with the EnEV 2009. The performance-based MEPS covers heating, cooling domestic hot water and, for non-residential buildings only, lighting and ventilation. The standards have been tightened from the EnEV 2007 to the EnEV 2009 in order to save around 30%. The maximum primary energy consumption allowed has to be calculated with comparison to a reference building and depends on the surface-to-volume ratio. For a typical dwelling, the maximum allowed heating energy consumption will be around 70 kWh/m2/yr (cf. figure 1 in the summary). Based on EU legislation, the German MEPS must be strengthened to require nearly zero energy buildings by January 2011. However, the exact definition of this term is still under development.
According to Power/ Zulauf (2011, p. 7) the most important changes are that a) the building envelope for new buildings must become 30% more energy efficient than required before, b) energy sources with a lower environmental impact should be favoured over traditional sources such as oil and c) state-certified energy advisors must issue Energy Performance Certificates (Energieausweis). For an existing building, an (ex-)change of an exterior element of the construction of more than 10% must comply with EnEV standards (Tuschinski 2011, p. 21).
If the exterior element is not changed by more than 10%, the EnEV does not have to be applied. However, the energy performance quality of the building must not be decreased. Furthermore, EnEV 2009 makes it compulsory for some building owners to replace old energy-wasting installations. For example, this law is applicable to heating boilers that use liquid or gaseous fuel and/ or if they were installed before 1978. Heating pipes need to be insulated if they run through unheated rooms (Tuschinski 2011, pp. 22 et seq.). In attics not used for living, the roof or the upper ceiling has to be insulated. Although investors take the main responsibility for refurbishments and constructions to stick to EnEV 2009, experts that were assigned by the investor ensure that their measures are in line with the EnEV, too (Tuschinski 2011, p. 47). However, compliance is controlled only at the time a building permit from local authorities for a new build is requested, and only based on the building’s design and plans. There is no compliance control for renovation. Nevertheless, it is estimated that the EnEV will be the main driver for cutting the energy consumption of the building sector between 1995 and 2016 (Schröder et al. 2011, p. 31).
Other legal requirements
Individual metering and billing of heating and domestic hot water: According to the Heating Cost Ordinance (Germ.: Heizkostenverordnung) costs for heating and domestic hot water are to be metered individually. Rooms shared between various occupiers are exempted from the rule (Heizkostenvorordnung §4 (1)).
Regular inspection of boilers and (non-residential) air conditioning (AC): Since 2010, some boilers and Air conditioners (ACs) need at least one inspection. This is applicable for boilers with more than 20kW used for space heating purposes and older than 15 years. These need at least one check up while boilers using more than 100kW need inspections every two years. In addition, there are annual inspections of the energy efficiency required by the Heizanlagenverordnung and carried out by the chimney sweeps. ACs with a nominal capacity of more than 12kW require inspection, as well.
Smart Metering: Since January 1st 2010, measuring point operators have been required to install smart meters in new buildings as well as in existing buildings where large refurbishments are conducted. This measure is backed by the EU Directives 2006/32/EU and 2009/72/EC as “intelligent metering systems […] shall assist the active participation of consumers in the electricity supply market.” Pilot projects in Germany have indicated energy saving potentials of 3 to 4 % through smart meters including a feedback on consumption (Schleich et al. 2012). The Intelliekon project for example analysed energy saving potentials of private households through smart meters. This included a “comparison of a fixed single tariff with a two-rate Time-Of-Use (TOU) tariff […]. The peak hour price of the TOU tariff was 77% higher than the off-peak price” (Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik et al. 2012, p. 28).
Revision of landlord and tenant laws
According to the current EnEV 2009, landlords are eligible to increase rents proportionally by 11% of the costs incurred for energy efficiency investments in order to retrieve costs.
Mandatory energy performance certificates & equipment labels
As required by the EU’s EPBD Directive, Germany’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for buildings has been mandatory for new buildings and for existing buildings if these have been sold or rented, since July 1st 2009. With respect to new buildings, the architect or the construction company issues the EPC. Building experts (e.g. architects, energy consultants, construction engineers) having completed a training course on energy saving buildings can issue EPCs for existing buildings. While residential buildings do not yet have to publicly display their EPC, they will have to do so in the future following Germany’s implementation of the requirement in the 2010 recast of the EU legislation EPBD. Public institutions (e.g. town halls, university buildings, social services departments, schools) already have to make them visible. The EPC consists of five pages. First of all, basic information such as the building type (e.g. single- or multi-family house), the address, its year of completion and the buildings size is stated. Based on all the building information, both the final energy demand and the primary energy demand are given and visualised on a scale, with green signalling low energy demand and red indicating a rather high demand (see the next figure).
Apart from that, the EPC also gives refurbishment recommendations like the replacement of conventional double-glazed windows (U-value 3 W/m2/K) with low emissivity double or triple glazing windows (U-value 1.3 or 0.8 W/m2/K).
Besides the mandatory energy performance certificate, Germany’s energy agency, Dena, has created the “Seal of Quality Efficiency House” (EH; Germ.: Gütesiegel Effizienzhaus). Basically, it is a voluntary certification scheme with the central goals to strengthen the market for energy efficient homes, to increase demand and to push bandwagon effects (Dena 2011, p. 2). A new building can be constructed in line with the EH scheme. The KfW makes use of the EH scheme and of the financial support provided by the government for energy audits carried out by specially trained and certified energy advisors to determine the EPC and possible the EH. The better the EH standard, i.e. energy performance of a building after the refurbishment/ construction process, the higher the financial incentives.
As opposed to the EH for existing buildings, newly constructed buildings must exceed the EnEV by showing a primary energy demand that is, at least, 30% lower. Apart from the primary energy demand, the loss of heat due to transmission must meet certain standards, too. If the primary energy demand of a refurbished building has become the same as that required for a new building or even better, building owners can apply for a Seal of Quality EH. Within the Efficiency House Scheme developed by Dena, building owners can reach better label values for better building performance. Apart from the primary energy demand, a building must also adhere to certain standards regarding the heat loss via transmission. The certification scheme consists of five categories for existing buildings: Efficiency House (EH) 100, EH 85, EH 70, EH 55 and EH 40. The numbers are the relative value in primary energy demand of a building with regard to the legislative requirements for a comparable new building. Thus, the primary energy demand of an EH 70-certified house is not higher than 70% of a new building constructed in line with the EnEV 2009. Three categories exist for new buildings having undergone energy-efficient renovation: EH 70, EH 55 and EH 40. Apart from the primary energy demand, there are minimum standards regarding heat loss due to transmission.
|Efficiency Classification||New Buidlings||Existing Buildings|
|QP (Primary energy)||HT (Loss of transmission heat)||QP (Primary energy)||HT (Loss of transmission heat)|
|Efficiency House 40||≤40% of the required EnEV-value||≤55% of the EnEV-reference value||≤40% of the required EnEV-value||≤55% of the EnEV-reference value|
|Efficiency House 55||≤55% of the EnEV-reference value||≤70% of the EnEV-reference value||≤55% of the EnEV-reference value||≤70% of the EnEV-reference value|
|Efficiency House 70||≤70% of the EnEV-reference value||≤85% of the EnEV-reference value||≤70% of the EnEV-reference value||≤85% of the EnEV-reference value|
|Efficiency House 85||≤85% of the EnEV-reference value||≤100% of the EnEV-reference value|
|Efficiency House 100||≤100% of the EnEV-reference value||≤115% of the EnEV-reference value|
Source: dena 2011, pp. 4 et seq.
This EPC differs from the standard EPC, as it requires an onsite visit by an energy advisor and a report with information about the building material used. The advisor also needs special qualifications (Dena 2011, p. 7).
The Passivhaus Institut with its headquarters in Darmstadt certifies passive houses. Building owners can also order a label for visibility purposes. Among other things, residential buildings must use less than 15 KWh/m2 per year for heating and cooling (Passivhaus Institut, 1).
Energy advice/audits & assistance during design and construction/retrofit
Expenses for specially trained Energy Advisors are partly covered by the On-site Energy Saving Advice programme (Germ.: Energieeinsparberatung vor Ort), operated by the BAFA. A maximum of €400 for single-family or two-family house and €500 for buildings with more than two housing units is given directly to the energy advisor, who is also responsible for the application. Bonuses are given for implemented measures such as the integration of electricity saving measures (€50) or for the utilisation of thermographical screening (€25 - €100) or a blower-door test (max. €100). Funding cannot exceed more than 50% of the energy advisory service costs. Building owners are eligible for funding if the building application was approved before 31.12.1994 and if the building envelope has not been changed by more than 50% via building extension.
Applicable buildings must have been originally planned as residential buildings, or, 50% of a buildings space has to be used for residential purposes. In a study (IFEU 2008) the energy advisory service received positive feedback. In 2005, 95% of those who utilised the service implemented recommended refurbishment measures. On average, every onsite consultation produced energy savings of 5,300 kWh/yr in single and two-family houses and 8,800 kWh/yr in multi-family houses each year. These numbers indicate energy savings of about 10% that can be attributed to the programme as compared to the previous energy demand (IFEU 2008, p. 4). Adding action that investors had planned already before the consultancy or that can be attributed to other elements of the package (e.g., the KfW financial incentive/preferential loan programmes), total energy savings were around 33%.
The KfW, in general, recommends getting advice from an energy advisor in order to avoid lost opportunities. If the goal is to achieve EH 55, an energy advisor is necessary at the planning stage and during the whole construction process. Expenses for this consultation service can be funded too.
Another on-site advice service is provided by the consumer protection agencies and subsidised by the German government, reducing the costs to €45 for the service receiver (Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband). According to Dudda (2008, p. 10) the various German energy advice services have been responsible for reducing 1 to 2 TWh in primary energy and 0.3 to 0.6 million tons in CO2 emissions. Furthermore, the programme has been estimated to have saved 30 TWh in energy, 10 millions tons of CO2 and pushed €1 billion in capital investments in 31 years (ibid., p. 6).
Small and Medium sized companies may apply for KfW grants to receive initial energy efficiency advice (Germ.: Energieffizienzberatung). Based on this first advisory service, grants are also available for an in-depth consultation. For the initial consultation, the KfW provides 80% of the consulting costs but not more than €640 per eight hours of consultation. A maximum of 16 hours is eligible for funding, so the maximum amount does not exceed €1,280. For an in-depth consultation service, the KfW provides a maximum of €4,800 or 60% of the consultant’s daily fee (KfW 2011c, p. 4).
The populace of North Rhine-Westphalia is able to have buildings checked for only €25 if a building was completed before 1980 and comprises not more than six building units. Experts screen energy-related building data according to a check list developed by the Energy Agency NRW under the programme “Building Check Energy” (Germ.: Gebäude Check Energie). A second programme, the “Initial Advice Energy” (Germ.: Start-Beratung Energie) is available for the same buildings for €48 and consultations are performed by architects and engineers. It comprises on-site visits, assessments of building condition, consultation regarding the current EnEV, recommendations for energy-related building improvements and cost-reduction assessment as well as giving advice for funding programmes.
The ”Energielotsen” (Energy Guides) in the Hannover region (around 672.000 inhabitants in proKlima municipalities) in Germany are architects or engineers who consult clients on energy efficiency measures for buildings during the whole construction or refurbishment process. The programme has provided financial support for 293 very energy-efficient new homes since 2005 to date (proKlima 2010a, p. 29) and has saved 93,518 t of CO2 (proKlima a 2010, p. 35). In the proKlima area 3255 new homes were constructed between 2005 and 2010 and proKlima subsidised 11,1% of them (explore the policy guide and find the good practice example)
The KfW also provides funding for construction-planning and construction-accompanying consultancy (Germ.: Baubegleitung) to residential builders or building owners. However, it is necessary that the investor has already access to the KfW-Programme “Energy Efficient Refurbishment” or other funding opportunities (of one of Germany’s federal states) which are re-financed by KfW resources. Subsidies for the planning or construction-accompanying experts can be up to €4.000.
Provision of Information
Consumers can consult building experts, like architects, in Germany’s Consumer Advice Centres (Germ.: Energieberatung in Verbraucherzentralen) to gain information about energy efficiency improvement for their buildings. For a subsidised cost of 5€, and in 600 locations throughout Germany, particular software to calculate the energy use of the building can be applied. The more data about the building (e.g. age, insulation material, boiler information) that is provided by the owner, the more accurate the service can be. After this estimation, the advisor can propose which measures may increase the energy efficiency of the respective building. However, some questions cannot be answered without an on-site visit (cf. Energy advice).
Many agencies provide information leaflets, campaigns, websites, or mobile energy advice in specially equipped buses.
The German internet portal provides around 20 online consulting tools which help consumers to find out about their energy consumption and what possibilities they have to save energy and reduce costs. Since 2004, almost 4 million visitors received concrete online advice. One third of all recent building refurbishments in Germany were carried out using information from one of the co2online tools. This has, in combination with personal follow-up advice and financial incentives provided by the German government, contributed to actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.4 million tons per year. The contribution of the online tools is estimated to be one quarter of this.
Moreover, Dena is mainly responsible for demonstration buildings, which are important a) to research, using these buildings as a testing ground and b) to make energy efficient housing more concrete to the public. In 2011, Dena was successful in opening its first energy plus house (Energieüberschusshaus) that is able to fuel a car running on electricity, as it produces more energy than it needs to run itself. For 15 months this was demonstrated under everyday circumstances (BMVBS 2011). Moreover, Dena administers the website(Future House) funded by the BMVBS and the BMU.
Dena also manages a database on LEBs and ULEBs. Users can enter their postal code and are provided with various data about energy efficient buildings. Information includes such things as the floor area, final and primary energy demand before and after the refurbishment and funding opportunities that were used (Dena d). Moreover, the Passivhaus Institut, which also certifies passive houses, administers a similar database as well. It is also possible to visit some passive house buildings at fixed dates.
In 2002, Dena, the BMWi and Germany’s main energy supply companies (EnBW, E.ON, RWE, Vattenfall Europe) started the Energy Efficiency Campaign (Germ.: Initiative Energieeffizienz). This initiative aims at disseminating information on energy efficiency to households, the industrial sector and the service sector. Energy efficiency in buildings is one of several efficiency topics. Private households are provided with information about various energy saving measures. Although the focus is rather on appliances (e.g. TVs, lightning applications, refrigerators), the website gives information on how to save energy through buildings measures too, (e.g. insulation, replacement of boilers). The website also has information on where to receive tailor-made information (e.g. energy advisory service) (Dena b).
Financial incentives for approaching ULEB/exceeding MEPS
In order to overcome one of the main market barriers to energy efficient refurbishment and construction, i.e. financing, the KfW provides funding (preferential loans or grants or both combined; mostly loans) to individuals and to municipalities.
For new build, the KfW makes funds available to builders through the programme, Building Energy-Efficient, (Germ.: Energieeffizient Bauen) in the form of soft loans (preferential loans of up to €50.000 with an interest rate subsidised by the government, starting at 1.87%) (explore the policy guide and find the good practice policy). The KfW uses the Seal of Quality Efficiency House scheme in order to calculate the amount of funding. The new building must use 30% less primary energy than ordinary new buildings. EH 40 and EH 55 buildings receive an additional grant element of 10% or 5%, respectively, on the basis of the full KfW loan amount if compliance with the respective EH standard is proved. Between 2006 and 2010, the programme (and is predecessor “Building in an Ecological Way”) saved 1,341 GWh as compared to the reference case.
Apart from funding to private households, the KfW also offers financial incentives in the form of grants to support the energy efficient refurbishment and CO2 reductions within urban quarters (KfW 2011 a, p. 2). These grants can be used a) to develop a so-called quarter concept (Quartierskonzept) and b) to assign a refurbishment manager. Programme documents clearly state that the programme is “part of Germany’s Energy Concept of the federal government” (ibid., p. 1).
In the programme, “Measures Facilitating the Use of Renewable Energy Sources” (Germ.: Maßnahmen zur Nutzung erneuerbarer Energien im Wärmemarkt) as well as renewable energy sources, (e.g. solar collector systems, plants for the combustion of biomass, geothermal facilities), efficient heat pumps of not more than 100 KW are funded, with €2,400 per heat pump plus €10 to €20 per KW nominal output for systems between 10 KW to 100 KW. For electrical air/ water heat pumps funding is always €900 per system; if the nominal output is between 20 KW and 100 KW funding is always €1,200 per sytem (BMWi 2012).
Financial incentives for triggering very energy-efficient (‘deep’) retrofits
Germany’s key pillar to achieving a refurbishment rate of 2%, as stipulated in the German energy efficiency roadmap, is Energy Efficient Refurbishment (Germ.: Energieeffizient Sanieren) for existing buildings (explore the policy guide and find the good practice example). The KfW also administers this programme. In 2010, the BMVBS budgeted KfW’s Building Rehabilitation Programme with rabout €1.4 billion. Although the programme, which gives soft loans or grants for energy-efficient construction or refurbishing measures, experienced a budgetary decline in 2011 down to €936 million, funding is going to increase to €1.5 billion annually between 2012 and 2014 based on the German government’s ambition to achieve a refurbishment rate of 2%, as stipulated in the government’s Energy Concept 2010 (KfW 2011).
Based on Dena’s Efficiency House scheme, the KfW Efficiency House (EH) scheme consists of the classifications EH 55-100. Through this programme the KfW makes funds available in the form of grants or soft loans including a grant element to building owners. If a building owner plans to increase the energy performance of a building so that it can be classified in one of the KfW-EH categories, the owner is eligible to apply for funding via the KfW. The KfW uses the Seal of Quality Efficiency House scheme in order to calculate the amount of funding. The KfW, in general, recommends taking advice from an energy advisor in order to avoid lost opportunities. If the goal is to achieve EH 55, an energy advisor is necessary at the planning stage and during the whole construction process. Expenses for this consultation service can be funded, too. After the refurbishment, relevant material has to be submitted to the KfW which also reserves the right to conduct spot-checks. For 2010, it was estimated that energy efficient refurbishments facilitated by the respective KfW programme resulted in energy savings of about 2,450 GWh/yr. Energy demand before the modernisation process was 7,876 GWh annually (BEI 2011, p. 25).
Besides the programme for home-owners, KfW funds concepts for, and the coordination of, energy efficient refurbishments of city quarters with the programme Energetic City Refurbishment (Germ.: KfW Energetische Stadtsanierung). Non-profit organisations, like cultural institutions, hospitals, facilities for handicapped people, schools and kindergartens, can apply for funds to refurbish buildings for buildings built before 01.01.1995, in the programme “Investing socially – Energetic Building Refurbishment” (Germ.: Sozial Investieren – Energetische Gebäudesanierung) (KfW 2011 b, p. 1) and that fulfil the energy performance standards of the Seal of Quality Efficiency House after the refurbishment process.
The most important financing instrument for energy efficiency in buildings in Germany is the loan component of the KfW programmes already presented above. In addition, small and medium size enterprises can apply for a maximum of €25 million in soft-loans to make their enterprise more energy efficient, e.g. through improving the building envelope in the KfW-Energy Efficiency Programme (Germ.: KfW Energie Effizienz Programm). 100% of energy saving investments may be financed. Interest rates are low and repayment of the credit starts after one to three years, depending on the credit period, although interest has to be paid right from the start. Additionally, the interest rate is fixed for the first ten years. The SME must apply to a local bank, which receives the requested capital from the KfW. The bank takes over the full responsibility (KfW 2012, pp. 2 et seq.). The refurbishment and new construction of buildings are eligible for funding, too. Building refurbishments must comply with the EnEV, i.e. the primary energy demand must not exceed the maximum allowed primary energy consumption of a new building, and, moreover, the value for heat transmission losses must not exceed the value of a reference new built home by more 20%. New buildings are funded if it is ensured that the planned buildings saves 20% in primary energy demand as compared to the EnEV.
Enterprises with a group volume of €500 million to €3 billion are eligible for KfW preferential loans of €25 million to €100 million under the “Initiative to Finance the Energy Transition” (Germ.: KfW-Finanzierungsinitiative Energiewende). The programme funds the same building measures as the KfW-Energy Efficiency Programme for small and medium size enterprises, i.e. single measures (heating, cooling, lighting, ventilation measures, upgrading the building envelope, heat recovery, the utilisation of waste heat) that save 15% in energy compared the sectorial average, (new investments), or 20% in energy compared to the average consumption of the previous three years (replacement investments), and the refurbishment and new construction of buildings requiring buildings to comply with the EnEV 2009. The payback period can be extended to a maximum of 20 years with a grace period for the first three years (KfW 2012 a, pp. 1 et seq.).
Education and training
The German federal states (Bunderländer) individually initiated capacity building measures for building experts in order to improve the building stock. North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), which is the most populated of all 16 states, implemented the Impuls-Programme hosting among other things the “Building Check Energy” (Germ.: Gebäude-Check Energie) and “Architectural Impulses” (Germ.: Architekturimpuls). With regard to the former, the Energy Agency NRW develops training courses and learning material for free and provides them to respective training institutions. Private builders, building owners and tenants can also access special training sessions in order to lower the energy consumption. Architectural Impulses can be considered as a series of events where experts can discuss contemporary and future building related issues focussing on topics such as sustainable building. Moreover, the Chamber of Architects in NRW and in the other states offers the opportunities to architects to participate in training courses, e.g. on new regulations (such as the EnEV).
Certification of qualified actors
Energy advisors who provide energy consultancy for residential and possibly for non-residential buildings, and who wish to receive BAFA accreditation in order to be allowed to offer the energy advice that receives financial incentives from the BAFA, (On-site Energy Saving Advice programme, see above) must attend special training courses, pass a final examination and successfully complete a practical work. The title energy advisor / consultant (Germ.: Energieberater) can be used without special qualifications in Germany, so the BAFA accreditation scheme safeguards that certified consultants have completed special training sessions (FH Braunschweig/Wolfenbüttel).
Energy efficiency clusters/ networks
Between 2009 and 2013, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety will support the “30 Pilot Networks”, a project that promotes thirty energy efficiency and climate protection networks. Pilot networks, which consist of 10 to 15 companies paying between €150,000 and €50 million for their energy costs, receive funding of up to one third of their costs for the network for the initial years (Fraunhofer Institut). The programme utilises the management system LEEN (Learning Energy Efficiency Networks; Germ.: Lernende EnergieEffizienz-Netzwerke), which, basically, carries out training seminars in order to implement the network concept. LEEN trains network moderators and consultants, develops and offers assistance technologies to calculate energy-efficient investments and develops and offers material on how to found, organise and implement the network structure (LEEN).
Promotion of energy services for energy savings
Many different types of energy services for energy savings are offered on the German market, starting with information, communication and consulting activities to services, industry, commerce and the public sector that are directly connected to contracts for the delivery of energy. Although other forms of contracting, like energy performance contracting (EPC) are offered, energy supply contracting is the major form of energy contracting on the market (Bunse et al. 2010).
In 2002 the pilot project „Contracting in the federal housing stock“ (German: Contracting in Bundesliegenschaften) started in order to fulfil the voluntary commitment of the national climate protection plan without further budget funds. The number of federal properties that are relevant for contract is estimated to be around 1,900. By including public properties of the Länder and local authorities, the number is possibly around 20,000. The annual energy cost savings potential of contracting is estimated at €300 Million (BMVBS 2012).
Until the end of 2009, 32 federal properties have initiated energy performance contracting. Every year 38% of energy costs and 34% of CO2 emissions are reduced by this. Additionally, the federal budget is relieved of more than €750,000 per year (BMVBS 2012).
In the beginning of 2010 the project “Center of excellence for (energy performance) contracting in public buildings” (German: Kompetenzzentrum Contracting für öffentliche Gebäude) replaced the pilot project and now also includes buildings of the Länder and local authorities ( ).
The energy saving partnership Berlin developed with the Berliner Energieagentur and Berlin's Senate Department for Urban Development is a model for efficient energy saving contracting. The aim is to tap the potential for saving energy existing in a pool of buildings made up of different properties. This energy saving partnership for public buildings saves taxpayers 2.9 million Euros per year for energy costs and has relieved the Berlin budget of more than 60 million Euros for investments and maintenance (Senatsverwaltung für Gesundheit, Umwelt und Verbraucherschutz Berlin 2011). Since 1996 the Land Berlin has made energy partnerships with 23 building pools with more than 500 public properties, i.e. around 1,300 buildings. The contracts, with a lifetime of 10 to 15 years, guarantee energy savings between 16 and 33 percent. Savings have increased over the years as experience has been gained (Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung und Umwelt Berlin 2012).
Other federal states have supported the development of energy performance contracting through advice and coaching for potential customers, (e.g., NRW) or financial incentives for the energy efficiency potential analysis, which is the necessary basis for an energy performance contract (e.g., Bavaria).
Funding for research, development and demonstration (RD&D) projects
Since 2003, Dena has been responsible for demonstration buildings for energy-efficient refurbishment and new build all over Germany functioning as “learning tools and test beds for new ideas” (Schröder 2011, p. 35) with the “Low Energy House Model Project” (Niedrigenergiehaus). 380 residential buildings realized on average of 86% in energy savings or 3.7 million tons of CO2 each year. 80 Non-residential buildings saved 62.2% of energy on average (Dena c).
There have been other demonstration programmes by the German government for many years. For example, for 2011, the BMVBS has made available €1.2 million in the “Efficiency House Plus” programme (Germ.: Effizienzhaus Plus) which assists builders who intend to build homes which “use much more energy than is necessary for their operation” (BMVBS 2011 a).
The initiative “Construction Research Initiative” (Germ.: Initiative Bau) was initiated in June 2006 and promotes research in the buildings sector. Research institutes can apply for contracts or the government may advertise special research topics that are relevant to Germany’s building sector. Besides research, the initiative “Research for Energy-Optimised Construction” (Germ.: Forschung für Energieoptimiertes Bauen) tests building technologies in pilot and demonstration projects. Every project is monitored, documented and evaluated (BMWi 2011, pp. 31 et seq.).
Public sector programmes
Many local authorities in Germany have reduced the heating energy consumption of their building stock by between 30 and 50 % since 1980 (Borg & Co. AB 2003). Some have also achieved high savings in electricity, despite growing use of office equipment.
The “Centre of excellence for (energy performance) contracting in public buildings” has to be mentioned here. This project by Dena and supported by BMVBS offers support in the field of contracting for policy makers and also support in the planning and implementation of concrete contracting projects ( ).
Competitions and awards
In 2009, the Ministry for Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS) and the German Energy Agency honoured architects and builders who combined energy efficiency measures with good architecture with the award “Efficiency House – Energy Efficiency and good Architecture” (Germ.: Effizienzhaus – Energieeffizienz und gute Architektur). In 2009, 18 winners from different categories (single- and two-family houses, apartment buildings) were selected. Architects and buildings owners competed for €120,000 (Dena a). In 2011, the Ministry for Transport, Building and Urban Development opened a demonstration building that produces more energy than it uses (Efficiency House Plus). The initiative is connected with a competition for those who wish to live in the Efficiency House Plus for a period of time.