Zoom Image

Construction of a district heating pipeline in Kiel: an important building block for the heating revolution

Photo: Frank Molter / dpa

The municipalities are calling for more financial support from the federal government for heat planning. "According to our calculations, the 500 million euros earmarked by the federal government for this purpose are by no means sufficient," said the chief executive of the German Association of Towns and Municipalities, Gerd Landsberg, to the editorial network Germany (RND). This sum had been named by the Ministry of Construction. The money is to come from the Climate and Transformation Fund.

The Federal Cabinet may take a decision on municipal heat planning this Wednesday. With these requirements, the German government wants to launch an important building block for the controversial law on switching to climate-friendly heating systems.

Only when a municipal heat plan is in place will the obligation planned in the Building Energy Act from 2024 that at least 65 percent of new heating systems be operated from renewable energies take effect for existing buildings.

According to the draft law, in cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants, the heat plan must be submitted by 30 June 2026, and in smaller municipalities two years later.

The Association of Towns and Municipalities represents around 17,11 municipalities with 000 member associations. The head of the association, Landsberg, said that the heat transition with significantly lower CO2 emissions in the building sector would fail without the municipalities. In order for it to succeed across the board, not only must all municipalities be involved, regardless of size, but heat planning must also be affordable.

"We have great doubts about this," said the head of the association. "This is because the municipalities are confronted with limited capacities, both in their own administration and in external planning offices." What is needed are deadlines that can be met. "Also, the requirements for the heat plans must not be too bureaucratic," says Landsberg.

The Association of German Cities, which represents the interests of all independent cities and most of the cities belonging to the district, is also not yet satisfied with the planned funding. "It is important that we can now quickly get started with further heat planning. We also have to talk about money – because the cities will not be able to cope with the heat transition on their own," said Chief Executive Helmut Dedy to the newspapers of the Funke media group.

A survey conducted by the Association of German Cities has shown that the cities expect to spend around 200,000 euros each plus personnel costs for the preparation of this heat plan alone. "Extrapolated, that would be up to two billion euros for heating plans in all German municipalities. Nothing has been implemented yet," he added. 500 million euros from the federal government were "not enough back and forth".