Habeck: Fossil fuels for heating are dead end, not way to save

robert habeck Fossil fuels for heating are dead end

Photo: Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action


April 10, 2023






April 10, 2023





No one should install a natural gas or fuel oil heating system because fossil energy is a dead end, not a piggy bank, Vice-chancellor and Federal Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck said.

Germany is preparing a law on heating installations with the aim to transition from fossil fuels to renewables. From January 1, every new heating system will have to run on at least 65% renewable sources, so it is essentially a ban on new heating devices using fossil fuels. The government’s idea sparked controversies as gas and heating oil are the dominant sources of heating.

Many homeowners are installing or planning to install heating devices running on fossil fuels before the ban comes into effect. In 2022, 600,000 gas and oil heaters were installed in dwellings, compared to 260,000 heat pumps and the connection of 70,000 households to district heating. Biomass is the only other alternative to fossil fuels.

Habeck said emission costs would steadily drive higher the prices of natural gas and heating oil from 2027

Habeck told households it was not a good idea and urged them not to panic “at the last minute.”

A heat pump pays off in 18 years, but prices will soon decrease, he said, Tagesschau reported.

Habeck estimated that prices of natural gas and heating oil would increase steadily from 2027 due to costs of emissions under the European Union’s Emissions Trading System.

The government is preparing subsidies and other benefits to make the transition less painful

It is enough, in his words, for citizens to abandon fossil fuels as a solution for such a long-term investment as heating. However, the government will also introduce subsidies, because gas boilers are cheaper than heat pumps, Habeck added.

To make energy transition less painful, the German government will also offer other incentives.

From the start of next year, households will have to replace gas and heating oil boilers that are beyond repair with cleaner solutions, but people over 80 years old are exempted. Younger citizens will also be eligible to apply for an exemption if they can’t afford the switch, according to Habeck.

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