The ban on installing new gas and oil heating systems from the beginning of 2024 has been met with sharp criticism from the opposition, despite the planned exception and transitional regulations. CSU General Secretary Martin Huber accused the traffic light coalition of "using a crowbar to protect the climate". "The traffic light plans are socially unjust and an irresponsible burden, especially for older homeowners," he said.
The Left East Commissioner Sören Pellmann spoke of a "impoverishment program". In the east, tens of thousands of heating changes are due, since many systems were installed in the 1990s. "People despair in view of the horrendous clean-up costs that will be incurred."
The climate protection and energy policy spokesman for the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Andreas Jung, still sees many open questions about which the federal government must create comprehensive transparency in the short term. It should be clarified, for example, whether there should actually be a ban on biomass heating for new buildings and whether heating with pellets is still possible. The CDU MP criticized that it was also unclear how the state would support investments and provide support specifically for financially weak households.
The left-wing politician Pellmann also complained that the social flanking of the heating program was still undetermined. This is "further evidence of the social coldness of traffic lights".
Compromise waives exchange obligation
On Friday evening, the coalition announced a compromise on the controversial building energy law that banned the installation of new gas and oil heating systems. According to the Federal Ministry of Economics and Building, there is now a completed draft law supported by all three parties. According to this, the core principle remains that from January 1, 2024, every newly installed heating system must be operated with 65 percent renewable energies. However, there should be exceptions, transition periods and comprehensive funding.
According to the information, the originally planned replacement obligation for functioning oil and gas heating systems will be waived. If old heating systems fail irreparably after 2024, an oil or gas boiler can be installed again at short notice, but this must be supplemented with modern technology within three years in order to meet the 65 percent requirement. Homeowners who are over 80 years old are completely exempt from it; they can also continue to install oil and gas heating systems. There should also be a hardship clause for financially weak households.
From the end of 2044, however, there should finally be an end to heating with oil and gas, because Germany wants to be climate-neutral from 2045, i.e. does not want to emit any additional greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Green leader: "Affordable and sustainable heat supply"
The Green co-chairman Ricarda Lang spoke of a "breakthrough in the heat transition". "After the turbocharged renewables and the end of the fossil fuel burner, the traffic light paves the way to climate neutrality in another sector." It is good that the law is now being passed quickly so that manufacturers and consumers can plan with certainty. "It is important that we cushion social hardship and thus really support people along the way. Together we can create a secure, affordable and sustainable heat supply," said Lang.
The FDP in the Bundestag underlined the openness to technology when replacing previous oil and gas heating systems. "The FDP has always emphasized that the state must not patronize people when choosing their heating system," said Lukas Koehler, deputy parliamentary group leader, to the German Press Agency. Contrary to the original plans of the Federal Ministry of Economics, it is now up to each individual in the compromise on the Building Energy Act to decide how to achieve the target of 65 percent renewable energies in a new heating system.
"So everyone can find the right solution for themselves and their own house," said the FDP politician. The rules that have now been found for replacing the heating system can also be implemented much more realistically in people's everyday lives.
The deputy CDU/CSU parliamentary group leader Ulrich Lange, on the other hand, criticized that the project would make construction massively more expensive. "With their plans for the building energy law, the traffic light hits the people in our country, but also the construction industry to the core," said the CSU politician to the "Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland".