Lauterbach calls for exceptions for clinics when banning oil and gas heating

"We will not allow rising energy and heating costs to endanger the existence of hospitals," Lauterbach told the "Bild am Sonntag".

Lauterbach calls for exceptions for clinics when banning oil and gas heating

"We will not allow rising energy and heating costs to endanger the existence of hospitals," Lauterbach told the "Bild am Sonntag". "The state guarantees services of general interest. This also means that we compensate for deficits that even well-functioning clinics are not responsible for," added the SPD politician.

Specifically, it should be possible for the institutions mentioned to apply for the installation of a new gas heating system even after the reform of the Building Energy Act has come into force if the investments represent a disproportionate burden for the health facilities and the continuation of operations is jeopardized.

After a long discussion, the traffic light cabinet passed a draft law on Wednesday, according to which oil and gas heating systems may only be installed in exceptional cases from next year. New heating systems should then "if possible" be operated with at least 65 percent renewable energy. In addition, it is planned that biomass heating systems such as wood stoves will no longer be permitted in new buildings in the future.

On the other hand, there is resistance from the SPD parliamentary group. The parliamentary deliberations are only at the beginning and "in the upcoming talks we are not ruling out any climate-friendly technologies from the outset," said parliamentary group leader Matthias Miersch of the "Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung". Homeowners should also have a variety of heating options available in the future, "including biomass". The main thing is that in the future, 65 percent of heating will be based on renewables.

On Saturday, the FDP party congress approved with a large majority an emergency motion submitted by around 80 delegates, which calls for the draft law to be improved. In it, the liberals are pushing for a technology-open, affordable and less bureaucratic conversion of building energy. Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) only approved the draft in the cabinet with reservations.

In turn, CDU leader Friedrich Merz said that Lindner "should have made use of the option that the federal government's rules of procedure give him, namely to veto all spending decisions". Instead, he only made a protocol statement, said Merz on Deutschlandfunk. It is about billions that must now be made available to private households "in order to finance this decision with a crowbar".

Saxony's Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU) even expects "deindustrialization and uproar among the population". He told the "Bild am Sonntag" that the energy turnaround would be "unaffordable for the citizens and politicians will lose a large part of the population as a result". Many "simply could not afford the required conversion of their house or their apartment".

Meanwhile, the Greens warned the FDP against breaking agreements. "I see it that agreements and resolutions that were made in the cabinet also apply afterwards," North Rhine-Westphalia's Economics Minister Mona Neubaur (Greens) told the "Augsburger Allgemeine" on Monday.

The Greens politician also rejected amendments to the draft law and criticized the demands made by the FDP federal party conference. "Especially in these times of crisis, reliability is a value in itself," said the State Minister for Economic Affairs. "Unfortunately, the FDP seems to have forgotten that."

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