Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy Presents Energy Efficiency Incentive Programme Instead of Tax Relief

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) has announced a new Energy Efficiency Incentive Programme providing support in the amount of EUR 165 million per year. The energy efficiency programme shall replace a previously proposed tax incentive regime for energy-efficient renovations that could not be agreed on with the Länder (federal states).

1. Energy-Efficiency Incentive Programme

The new incentive programme shall be introduced as a replacement for tax reductions worth EUR 1 billion in total for energy-efficient renovations that were intended to provide tax relief over a period of ten years. Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said the Energy-Efficiency Incentive Programme would complement existing support under the CO2 Renovation Programme (CO2-Gebäudesanierungsprogramm) and the Renewable Energy Incentive Programme for the Heating Market (Marktanreizprogramm – MAP).

Support will be provided in four areas

  • Investment grants for fuel cell heating systems
    to make up for the comparatively high costs.
  • More funding for efficient heating systems
    According to information by the ministry: “There will be a new set of measures geared at inefficient old heating systems. This includes a label providing users with necessary first information, thorough inspections of the heating system with information on the best setting (optimale Einstellung) as well as more funding for the exchange of very old and inefficient installations”.
  • Special funding for increasing energy-efficiency and residential value at the same time
    According to BMWi, funds shall be allocated for example for ventilation systems that provide a good internal environment, help to save energy and prevent the formation of mildew.
  • The above support shall be accompanied by more information and consulting regarding energy-efficiency

2. Background Information

Promoting the energy-efficiency of buildings is a core element of the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NAPE) adopted by the ruling Conservative/Social Democrat government in December 2014. Starting in 2015 the government wanted to spend one billion euros over a period of five years to provide tax reductions for owners of private homes and apartments for a ten-year period. Yet the government could not reach the necessary agreement with the Länder (federal states) (for more information please see here). In December 2012 the Bundesrat (Federal Council) that represents the interests of the federal states already rejected the Act on Fiscal Measures Promoting Energy-Efficient Renovations of Residential Buildings submitted by the government composed at the time of the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. It was the only bill of the 2011 energy legislative package, which the Bundesrat did not approve of.

NAPE is an important element of the “Action Programme on Climate Protection 2020″ (Climate Programme 2020), which the government also adopted in December 2014 in an effort to reach Germany’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2020.

The fact that government and the Länder failed to reach an agreement on tax relief for energy-efficient renovations has been heavily criticised by various institutions, among them the Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry (BDEW).

Source: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

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