Zoom Image

Winter's Day in Baden-Württemberg

Photo: Avanti/Ralf Poller / IMAGO/avanti

Private households in Germany saved considerable energy on heating last year in the face of higher prices. Adjusted for the outside temperature factor, private households consumed five percent less heating energy than in 2021, and emissions of the greenhouse gas CO₂ also fell accordingly. This is the result of the latest "Heat Monitor" published by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) on Wednesday. Actual CO₂ emissions even fell by 15 percent as a result of the mild winter. Nevertheless, the climate targets were narrowly missed, it said.

It is based on data from the real estate service provider Ista, for which the heating energy bills of 150,000 two-family and multi-family houses with around one million apartments nationwide were evaluated.

North saves more than South

It should be borne in mind that the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, as a result of which energy prices soared, began on February 24, 2022. Accordingly, it was not until the end of 2022 that citizens in Germany stepped up their efforts to save gas, oil and electricity. At that time, there was a threat of a gas shortage because no more gas was coming to Germany via the pipelines from Russia.

"Households were only able to dampen the additional costs caused by sharply increased prices by heating less," said study author Merve Kücük from the Climate Policy Department at DIW Berlin. "As a result, their expenditure did not rise as much as prices in the residential buildings under consideration, namely by an average of only 17 percent."

According to the results of the study, savings were much higher in the north than in the south. The front-runner was Schleswig-Holstein with minus 7.3 percent. In this state, the prices for heating oil and natural gas have also risen the most in Germany at 47 percent.