Energy savings for greater independence

The „energy efficiency work plan” is intended to help save energy and improve energy efficiency. Both private households and companies will benefit.

Familie im Grünen©Adobe Stock / drubig-photo

At the latest since the start of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, energy sovereignty and energy independence have taken on new importance in Germany. Saving energy, and living and working in an energy-efficient way, is no longer just the decent thing to do: it also makes Germany less dependent on energy supplies from Russia.

Federal Minister Habeck outlined the idea behind the work plan: „We are currently pulling out all the stops to lessen our dependence on energy from Russia. As important as it is in the short term to find alternative sources for gas and to build the necessary infrastructure, the cheapest and most efficient way to become more independent is to use less energy. Cutting energy consumption is a matter of urgency to combat climate change, and also helps to reduce the high costs, given the horrendous prices for fossil fuels – a huge burden especially for low-income families. Energy prices are a burden on companies, too. That is why we are working very hard to improve energy efficiency – through funding and incentives, with the proper framework and information. Saving energy and shifting to renewables – that is the task. Not just since today, but especially today.”

The energy efficiency work plan (German only) points out efficient ways to lessen dependence, advance climate change mitigation and sustainability, and cut costs. It contains a catalogue of clear measures ranging from financial incentives and targeted funding to changes to the regulatory framework. Timetables are set for the individual measures and instruments.

These include financial support for households and companies, in particular the Federal Funding for Efficient Buildings (BEG) scheme. In future, this will focus on the energy-efficient retrofitting of buildings.

However, only with the correct regulatory framework and effective economic incentives will it be possible to reduce energy consumption sustainably for the long term. The minimum energy performance standards for new buildings will soon be raised. From 2024, renewable energy must account for at least 65 per cent of new heating systems. This will be possible, for example, with solar thermal energy, the installation of pellet heating systems or the use of heat pumps. Under the new rules, solar panels on roof-tops will be the norm.

Germany intends to cut its energy consumption by 24 per cent by 2030. An energy savings campaign is to be launched to improve the information available to companies, business people and consumers – with lots of practical tips and individual advice services, for instance on installing solar roof panels.

You can read the energy efficiency work plan here (German only).