DThe traffic light is saying goodbye to its plan to introduce a renovation obligation at EU level. “It should not be underestimated what kind of stress a renovation obligation would cause for people,” said Construction Minister Klara Geywitz (SPD) to the magazine “Spiegel”. Owners could be massively overwhelmed financially and also with the implementation of the construction work.
Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) also no longer wants to know anything about the “further negotiation steps” that he had once announced. “We exclude mandatory renovations for individual residential buildings,” his ministry said in a statement.
With its new line, the traffic light coalition is responding to widespread criticism of the EU directive from the housing industry. Following a request from Habeck’s European ministerial club, the EU Parliament introduced a significantly stricter version of the restructuring directive into the negotiations. According to this, the majority of buildings with the highest energy consumption should be comprehensively renovated by 2033, primarily by insulating the facades.
Berlin: Evaluate entire neighborhoods instead of individual houses
The construction minister now wants a completely different approach. She wants to leave it to the nation states how they achieve their climate goals in the building sector. The aim is to use procedures in which entire villages or districts are evaluated. With a “neighborhood approach” with well-insulated new buildings, old buildings would not initially have to be renovated.
She also envisions cities and municipalities first renovating public facilities such as schools, sports halls, town halls, hospitals and swimming pools. “If we wanted to save a lot of CO₂ quickly, we shouldn’t start with small houses in the country, but rather tackle the large public stocks first,” says Geywitz. The potential there is much greater. “We have to quickly mass up for the climate.”
To date, the federal government has funded the renovation of municipal facilities with more than 800 million euros, which comes from the Climate and Transformation Fund (KTF). However, the program is five to six times oversubscribed, according to the Ministry of Construction. The funds from the funding pot for individual measures on buildings, which the traffic light recently endowed with 19 billion euros, have so far only flowed with difficulty. Owners were unsettled by the dispute over the Building Energy Act.
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