Maintaining perspective is no longer so easy. It is not surprising that errors are circulating regarding the Building Energy Act (GEG), often referred to as the Heating Act. In total, Finantstest experts identified eleven, which are reported in issue 12/2023. Here are four of the most common misunderstandings and what’s really going on.

1. Error: The operation of old gas and oil heating systems is no longer permitted.

The truth is that it will only be banned everywhere from 2045. Until then, there are many exceptions and transitional rules, which also depend on the heating planning of the municipalities. Gas and oil heaters are also still permitted. But: anyone installing such heaters from 2024 must ensure that the system uses an increasing proportion of renewable energy from 2029. For a transition period of five years, any type of fossil fuel heating can be installed.

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Second mistake: In new buildings it is necessary to install a heat pump

This is not true. In new development areas, all options are possible according to the so-called 65 percent rule, that is, 65 percent is provided by renewable energy. If the building is not in a new development area, it is theoretically possible to install fossil fuel heating here as well. Because it requires a chimney like pellet heating or other wood-burning systems, it increases construction costs, according to Finanztest.

3. Misconception: An old home you bought or inherited needs to be completely renovated.

Nobody is obliged to do repairs – in principle. However, “in some cases”, for example if the upper floor ceiling is not insulated or the heating system is more than 30 years old, new owners must take action within two years. However, a change of ownership is the right time to carry out the necessary repairs.

4. Misconception: The heating law does not affect residents

Not immediately, but if landlords install a new heating system to code, up to ten percent of the costs can be passed on to tenants. Government funding must first be subtracted from the total. Rent may be increased by a maximum of 50 cents per square meter per month. (dpa/af)

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