BPIE has been contributing ideas and best practice examples to the German policy since 2014.

Germany matters in meeting the EU climate goals, both politically and economically. In Germany, the building sector accounts for 40% of final energy use and for about one third of the GHG-emissions. But while Germany is considered a frontrunner for some building policies and instruments, the national renovation rate is just at the level of the European average (around 1%/yr). Out of every three building upgrades undertaken in Germany, only one implements energy-saving measures.

Quite a number of strategic documents have been adopted in Germany in the past legislation showing the important role of the building sector in achieving energy transition and climate protection targets: the climate action plan 2050, the energy efficiency strategy for buildings, or the national action plan on energy efficiency.

Since the election to the German Bundestag in September 2017, implementation has been the primary challenge. This includes stepping up existing instruments and adopting new measures. In this context, BPIE contributes ideas to develop further the policy framework, in close collaboration with a number of partner organisations in the country. It is our aim to better understand the barriers and drivers for policies linked to energy performance of buildings, also in view of implementing the EPBD and the EED. BPIE analysed in a briefing, available in German, 9 reasons that would make the EPBD more effective in improving the energy performance of European buildings, while enabling Member States to develop and implement ambitious policies. Another briefing on the latest EPBD proposals of the European Commission and its implications for Germany is available here.

Moreover, while best-practice sharing is key to any activity conducted within this country initiative, we are also actively engaged in national initiatives. In order to demonstrate that building renovation is affordable in Germany if policy packages are implemented in a supportive way, BPIE, in collaboration with TU Wien and Fraunhofer ISI, developed Energy-Saving Cost Curves (ESCCs) for the national building stock. ESCCs provide a new and visually powerful tool to explore the cost effectiveness of renovating buildings, thereby informing the policy debate about the design of support instruments.

Germany is in the middle of transforming its energy system towards one that is based on renewable energy. In order to help achieve the renewable energy targets, flexibility will have to be enhanced and energy savings will have to be increased. BPIE finds evidence that with smart buildings, the building sector can contribute to these systemic functions to the energy system.


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