Press Release of October 9, 2014
The heating market plays a key role in achieving the Federal Government's energy and climate policy objectives. In particular, major savings need to be made in heating residential buildings if the majority of buildings are to be climate-neutral by 2050. In light of this, DIW Berlin and ista Deutschland GmbH have created an up-to-date data basis that is based on the heating energy bills of apartment blocks in Germany. Significant savings were achieved between 2003 and 2013. Demand for area-specific heating energy in Multifamily buildings throughout Germany fell by around 16 percent. Given developments in recent years and the continuing increases in floor space, however, the Federal Government's medium-term and, in particular, long-term objectives require significantly greater savings. Nevertheless, decreasing energy demand does not necessarily lead to lower heating costs. The reason for this is largely a rise in oil prices which, on average, has actually overcompensated for energy savings. Given these circumstances, energy-efficiency upgrades to buildings not only provide insurance against soaring energy prices but are also an important long-term tool for maintaining real estate marketability. There are also differences in regional developments: while heating energy demand in the East German states is lower on average, savings in the West German states are more dynamic. Individual regions, for example, in southern Germany, have made substantial progress. The pattern of heating costs varies from region to region. Households in some parts of the East German states and in rural areas, where fuel oil is used more frequently, have higher energy costs.