BMVBS and KfW Start New Support Programme for Energy-Efficient Renovation of City Districts

The Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS) and the state-owned KfW Development Bank (KfW) have launched a new support programme “Energy Efficient Renovation of Cities – Energy Efficient Supply of Districts” (Energetische Stadtsanierung – Energieeffiziente Quartiersversorgung) to promote energy efficiency in the municipal sector.

As of 1 February 2012 investments in district heating (quartiersbezogene Wärmeversorgung), energy efficient water supply and waste water disposal will be promoted by low-interest loans.

The new programme was an important step towards the implementation of the government’s energy concept of 2011, creating a broader basis for energy-efficient renovation, extending it from the single building further to the whole district, Federal Minister Peter Ramsauer said. KfW board member Axel Nawrath pointed out that the expansion of district heating networks and the construction of energy-efficient combined heat and power plants played a vital role for reaching the countries climate protection targets.

The programme is the second module of the support programme “Energy-efficient Renovation of Cities” (Energetische Stadtsanierung). The loans at reduced rates of interest for a maximum of 10 years will paid for by funds from the Energy and Climate Fund. Borrowers can choose from 10-, 20- or 30-year loan terms.

In November 2011 the first programme module that provides grants for the preparation of integrated city district concepts and the employment of renovation managers was launched. So far, 84 pilot projects regarding the preparation of integrated city district concepts are being sponsored in coordination with the federal states (Länder). The pilot projects are being monitored.

The new programme fits in with the government’s efforts to promote energy efficiency in order to reach the goals of its energy concept. Yet funding seems somewhat uncertain. The Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry (BDEW) already warned against a lack of funding of the Energy and Climate Fund in September last year. Besides, the Act on Fiscal Measures Promoting Energy-Efficient Renovations of Residential Buildings that shall promote the energy-efficient renovation of buildings older than 1995 by giving tax incentives was rejected as the only bill of the 2011 energy legislative package by the Bundesrat (Federal Council). So far, efforts to negotiate an amendment in the mediation committee of the Bundestag (Federal Parliament) and Bundesrat have failed. Hence, the promotion of energy efficiency still remains partly incomplete.

Source: Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development

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