Climate-neutral construction: KfW program for efficient houses stopped

Status: 01/24/2022 12:17 p.m

Economics Minister Habeck has stopped the promotion of so-called efficiency houses and energy renovation. The demand far exceeds the funds provided. Funding should be reformed.

In view of the flood of applications, Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck has temporarily stopped funding for energy-efficient buildings. As the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Protection announced, applications from the state development bank KfW will no longer be approved for the time being. The new federal government is also planning a fundamental reform of funding.

The new construction subsidy for the so-called Efficiency House 55 (EH55), which would have expired at the end of the month anyway, will be finally discontinued. The ministry justifies the stop by saying that the EH55 is standard on the market anyway. The end of the funding has now led to a run on the program: According to the ministry, the flood of applications in January significantly exceeded the funds provided by the state KfW bank: “In view of the preliminary budget management, KfW had to stop the program today with immediate effect.”

Energy-efficient renovations should continue

According to the Federal Ministry, funding for energy-efficient refurbishments should be resumed as soon as the corresponding budgetary funds have been made available. The future of new building subsidies according to the Efficiency House 40 (EH40) standard will be decided quickly against the background of the funds available in the energy and climate fund and the needs of other programs.

It is also still unclear how the applications for EH55 that have been submitted but not yet approved, as well as the EH40 new construction subsidy and the fundamental energy-related renovation will be dealt with. There are no longer any funds available for this either. In order not to bring builders into financial bottlenecks, loans would be checked. “The freeze on applications is sad and disappointing news for the applicants concerned,” said Secretary of State for Energy Patrick Graichen. Instead, an outdated funding was continued that sets the wrong incentives.”

Link funding with greenhouse gas emissions

These false incentives have recently produced an unprecedented rush for funds. “A stop to the old funding was therefore now unavoidable. As the new federal government, we are taking this unfortunate situation as an opportunity to quickly reorganize the funding and the legal standards for new buildings,” said the State Secretary: “We are currently funding the wrong thing, and then this money is missing with climate protection measures that are actually effective, for example in the renovation of buildings that is so important. This cannot go on like this.”

In the future, subsidies should be used in a targeted manner where the CO2 savings are greatest, announced Graichen. In the building sector, this is particularly the case with renovation measures. The coalition agreement also stipulates that the Building Energy Act (GEG) should be fundamentally changed anyway. In the future, they want to align subsidies directly with the avoided greenhouse gas emissions per square meter.

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