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Energy Saving Ordinance. Everything you need to know.

Minimising primary energy to create greener energy consumption

The Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV) sets increasingly higher energy standards, especially for new buildings. But owners of older buildings must also observe certain new rules. Furthermore, the energy performance certificate for buildings has gained in importance. In future, vendors and landlords must be able to present the certificate when a property is being viewed.

Energy Saving Ordinance — everything at a glance

The German Federal Government introduced the Energy Saving Ordinance in February 2002. Since then, its requirements have been "tightened" several times. It stipulates higher energy standards for new buildings in particular. But owners of older buildings must also observe certain new rules. The most important changes are documented on enev-online.de.

New buildings

Since 1 January 2016, newly built residential and non-residential buildings must satisfy more stringent energy requirements: the permissible value for total energy efficiency (annual primary energy demand) has been reduced by 25 percent. As of 2021, the lowest energy building standard specified by the EU will apply for all new buildings. The guidelines for this are set to be announced by the end of 2018.

Older buildings

No significant restrictions are planned for existing building stock. Nevertheless, if you are the owner of an existing building, there are several points you need to note.

Obligation to replace
old floorstanding oil and gas boilers

Floorstanding oil and gas boilers installed prior to 1985 should have been taken out of use by 2015. If the heating systems in question were installed after 1 January 1985, they must be replaced after 30 years. However, the EnEV 2014 contains a series of exceptions; for example, low temperature and condensing boilers are excluded from this stipulation. Owners of detached and two-family houses who were using at least one residential unit in their house themselves on the deadline of 1 February 2002, are also exempt from the stipulation. In the event of a change of owner, the new homeowner has two years to satisfy the obligation to replace the boiler.

Thermal insulation

Top floor ceilings that do not meet the requirements for minimum thermal protection had to be insulated by the end of 2015. This means ceilings in heated rooms that adjoin an unheated roof space. This requirement is satisfied if the roof above has been insulated, or the requirements for minimum thermal protection are satisfied. Exceptions apply here too, if the homeowners were using at least one residential unit in their house themselves on the deadline of 1 February 2002.

Energy performance certificate

The energy performance certificate for buildings has gained in importance. In future, if you are a vendor or landlord, you must be able to present the certificate when a property is being viewed. After concluding the sale, you must hand over the certificate (or at least a copy) immediately to the buyer or tenant. You must specify the key energy figures from the energy performance certificate in the property advertisement, e.g. the building's average final energy demand.

In future, the energy figures will no longer just be displayed on a scale of green to red; they will also be assigned to one of nine efficiency classes. As with the labelling of electrical and household appliances, the scale ranges from A+ (low energy demand) to H (high energy demand). This classification only applies to newly issued certificates. Energy performance certificates already issued without the specification of an energy class remain valid. However, they must be replaced at least every 10 years.