IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Map of Policies Supporting Thermal Efficiency in Germany’s Residential Building Sector

Listed author(s):
  • Amecke, Hermann
  • Neuhoff, Karsten

Executive Summary The German government aims to reduce primary energy demand by 80% until 2050 and heating demand by 20% until 2020. Besides the need for additional efforts to achieve these targets, Germany has already implemented a set of policies and programmes to increase investments in thermal energy efficiency. This paper provides an overview of currently implemented German policies, specifically addressing two questions: A) What roles do different types of policies play in supporting energy efficiency in the residential building sector and how do they interact? B) In Germany, which policies fulfil these roles? How do they perform? The report covers all main federal policies in Germany and reviews the current literature on the impact of the individual policy tools. The following summarizes the paper’s key points: A) What roles do different types of policies play in supporting thermal energy efficiency investments and how do they interact? There are three key categories of energy efficiency policies for buildings in Germany: i) financial instruments to improve the economics of thermal energy efficiency measures, ii) information instruments to highlight advantages and options for investing into energy efficiency, and iii) standards mandating performance requirements. Interactions among these policies impact their overall effectiveness. Building policies are complementary because they fulfil different roles and respond to different needs; a single program is often not effective without the support of other mechanisms. For instance, for a loan or financing instrument to work, information instruments are needed to communicate the additional savings they offer. Applications to a programme with the same financial benefits can be increased manifold by alterations to the information provided. Equally, financial support programs increase the interest in and relevance of information instruments to building owners. Besides the needs for a balanced policy mix, some policies can also act as substitutes to each other. Energy demand reductions can, for example, be either triggered by enhancing the profitability of energy efficiency technologies through financial support or by compulsory performance standards, depending on the policy preference of a government. B) In Germany, which policies fulfil these roles? How do they perform? Note: The charts below for each type of policy list key policies in Germany. Detailed descriptions of each policy are found in this paper. I. Financial policies improve the economics of investments by addressing different needs and preferences of building owners. The following chart lists German policies that improve the economics of energy performance investments by either providing access to preferential finance or upfront support, changing heating costs, or aligning incentives. A diversity of financial support mechanisms is suggested to increase the impact of financial support because different actors prefer and/or need different support mechanisms.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by ZBW - German National Library of Economics in its series EconStor Research Reports with number 65869.

in new window

Date of creation: 23 Aug 2011
Handle: RePEc:zbw:esrepo:65869
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Düsternbrooker Weg 120, 24105 Kiel / Neuer Jungfernstieg 21, 20354 Hamburg

Phone: +49 431 8814-1
Fax: +49 431 8814-520
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. Gram-Hanssen, Kirsten & Bartiaux, Francoise & Michael Jensen, Ole & Cantaert, Madeleine, 2007. "Do homeowners use energy labels? A comparison between Denmark and Belgium," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 2879-2888, May.
  2. Stefan Bach, 2009. "Zehn Jahre ökologische Steuerreform: finanzpolitisch erfolgreich, klimapolitisch halbherzig," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 76(14), pages 218-227.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:esrepo:65869. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.