Improving energy efficiency step by step

The majority of home owners rely on individual retrofitting measures, improving energy performance step by step rather than all in one go. According to the latest funding statistics, replacing old boilers was the most popular measure in 2014, followed by putting in new windows.

Infografik zeigt die häufigsten Einzelmaßnahmen der energetischen Modernisierung laut KfW-Statistik für das Jahr 2014.© Image: BMWi / Data: dena

Not every home owner in Germany has the financial means to improve the energy performance of a building all at once. This is why most of them take an incremental approach, improving energy efficiency in their homes step by step. The German Energy Agency (dena) has analysed the 2014 funding statistics of KfW, a state promotional bank, and determined the top five measures undertaken to improve the energy efficiency in the home.

Replacing old boilers came first among the top five measures to reduce heating costs. Around 56,500 new boilers were funded by KfW in 2014. The second most popular measure was replacing old windows: KfW provided funding for the installation of modern, energy-efficient glazing in around 54,500 cases.

Improving insulation is also an important individual measure. KfW provided funding for roof insulation to prevent heat loss for 26,800 residential units and for insulating walls in 13,300. Checks on and improvements to existing heating systems rank fifth, with around 3,200 applications approved.

Getting started on making your home more energy-efficient

Individual measures are often a good first step for home owners to make their homes more energy-efficient. KfW provides investment grants of up to 5,000 euros per residential unit for replacing old boilers, putting in new windows, installing thermal insulation and other measures. Grants for using renewables for hot water and heating are available from the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) as part of their Market Incentive Programme.

Every home is different and the individual measures that are right for you depend on a number of aspects. It makes sense to consult with a qualified energy adviser before making a decision. The Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) grants up to 800 euros for on-the-spot energy advice in one-family and two-family homes.