According to the will of the EU Member States, the entire EU building stock should be free of environmentally harmful emissions by 2050. The EU states agreed on this in Brussels. The new directive is part of the so-called European Green Deal and aims to increase the energy efficiency of buildings and, therefore, make them more climate-friendly.

The EU directive also specifies the maximum amount of energy that buildings can use from a given point in time. However, certain buildings, such as historic buildings or churches, may be exempt from the regulations.

Renovation will be mandatory, gas and oil heating systems will be phased out from 2040

Energy consumption should also decrease in residential buildings. By 2030 it should be a total of 16 percent less and by 2035 between 20 and 22 percent less. To achieve this, residential buildings should be renovated to save energy. Furthermore, by 2040, fossil fuels should no longer be used in buildings. This includes natural gas and oil heating systems.

Instead, solar energy should be promoted and better infrastructure for environmentally friendly transport created.

German Environmental Aid called on the federal government to act quickly. “We now need a concrete plan for a new wave of renovation and therefore healthy and affordable housing in Germany,” says CEO Barbara Metz.

Will gas and oil heating end in 2040?

Unlikely. The new EU legislation creates a framework allowing EU states to take adapted national measures. The heads of state and government have two years to introduce the new rules. Germany at least has already decided to phase out gas and oil heating.

There is already a basic obligation to replace a boiler with a new one after 30 years. There are exceptions, among others, for condensing boilers. From 2045, buildings can only be heated in a climate-neutral way using renewable energy. According to a study by the energy industry association BDEW last November, almost half of the 41.9 million homes in Germany would be heated with natural gas in 2023. Diesel heating comes in second place with almost a quarter part.

But what applies in the meantime? In the event that a gas or oil heating system needs to be completely replaced because it can no longer be repaired, there are transition periods that last several years. New oil or gas heating systems may continue to be installed until the heating planning deadlines expire.

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