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Tax Incentives for Thermal Retrofits in Germany: Experiences from Practicioners

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  • Amecke, Hermann
  • Neuhoff, Karsten
  • Stelmakh, Kateryna

Abstract

The building sector is a key focus area of the Energy Concept of the German Federal Government, among other reasons because it has the potential to avoid a large share of CO2 emissions while also saving costs. Thus far, however, only a small percentage of residential building owners have undertaken comprehensive thermal retrofits, and the target retrofit rate of 2% remains a distant goal. In order to address this low retrofit rate, the Conciliation Committee of the Parliament is currently discussing whether to offer residential building owners a tax incentive for undertaking retrofits that are in line with KfW 85 (roughly 15% better than the new build standard). The main point of contention in the current discussions is the distribution of costs for these tax incentives between the federal and state government levels. In addition, some critics have raised questions about the cost and effectiveness of the current proposal, including whether single or comprehensive retrofits shall be supported, what retrofit depth shall be supported, how much flexibility for the completion of projects shall be granted, and what additional support for stepwise retrofits needs to be given. Because retrofit practitioners have experience with these questions, we have undertaken a survey of 78 thermal retrofitting practitioners (architects, engineers, craftsmen, energy consultants, etc.) -- Der Gebäudesektor ist ein Schlüsselsektor des Energiekonzepts der Bundesregierung, unter anderem da sich in diesem Sektor ein Großteil der CO2 Emissionen mit Gewinn einsparen lässt (Levine et al. 2007). Bisher führt allerdings nur ein geringer Teil der Wohngebäudebesitzer umfassende energetische Gebäudesanierungen durch; die angestrebte Sanierungsrate von 2% liegt somit noch in weiter Ferne (BBSR 2011; Diefenbach et al. 2010). Um dies zu ändern, diskutiert der Vermittlungsausschuss zurzeit, ob Wohngebäudebesitzer eine steuerliche Förderung für Sanierungen auf KfW 85 erhalten sollen. Kern der derzeitigen Diskussionen ist die Kostenverteilung der Steuerförderung über Bund und Länder. Neben dieser Verteilungsfrage wirft der gegenwärtige Gesetzesentwurf aber weitere Fragen auf, die für die Kosten und Nutzen des Gesetzes entscheidend sind. Aufgrund der Erfahrung von Praktikern der Gebäudesanierung mit den folgenden Fragen, haben wir eine Umfrage unter 78 Architekten, Bauingenieuren, Handwerkern, Energieberatern und weiteren Praktikern durchgeführt.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ZBW - German National Library of Economics in its series EconStor Research Reports with number 65876.

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Date of creation: Jan 2012
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:esrepo:65876

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Keywords: Thermal Retrofits; Tax incentives; Stepwise Retrofits;

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