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Federal Building Minister Klara Geywitz: "I am very critical of the tightening of the Building Efficiency Directive"


Michael Kappeler / dpa

Federal Building Minister Klara Geywitz (SPD) has announced in an interview resistance to EU plans for strict renovation requirements. "I am very critical of the tightening of the Building Efficiency Directive, which the EU Parliament is demanding," Geywitz told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung. As a result, there would be an obligation to renovate all buildings that do not meet certain energy standards. "I refuse that."

Geywitz said that a restructuring was "a huge act that we are not allowed to enforce by law". That's why she says no to minimum standard obligations for every house, without looking at who lives in it, who owns it and how long it could still be used.

It is also not true that an investment in insulation is worthwhile in every case and thus the value of the house is automatically increased. "Maybe the money would be lost because the house can't be sold at a high profit." Some post-war houses are small, built with outdated materials and may simply be demolished at some point.

The Social Democrat also told the "NOZ" that instead of the restructuring obligation from Brussels, the national restructuring plans were completely sufficient. This is because schools, sports facilities and administrative buildings would also be brought into shape, thus massively saving CO₂. "We really don't have to throw ourselves into every little house for climate protection."

Refurbishment according to the "worst first" principle

Before the summer break, the EU Parliament voted on the tightening of the EU Efficiency Directive. The EU Commission is also in favour of strict requirements. The directive provides for a renovation obligation according to the motto "worst first": The worst buildings should be the first to be modernized. By 2030, all properties must achieve at least energy efficiency class E and by 2033 class D. However, the EU Commission and member states still have to agree on the final design of the law.

In an interview with SPIEGEL in March 2022, Geywitz had said with regard to a restructuring obligation that in some areas "it would not work without regulatory law". Even then, she expressed reservations about the "worst first" principle.