In the future, municipalities will have to draw up so-called heat plans. The Bundestag passed a corresponding law on Friday with the votes of the traffic light parties against the opposition. It is related to the coalition’s much-discussed Building Energy Act (GEG), also known as the Heating Act.

Only when a municipality has a heating plan do homeowners have to ensure when installing new heating that it is powered by at least 65 percent renewable energy. The political goal is for Germany to become climate-neutral by 2045, meaning that it no longer emits greenhouse gases and cannot be sequestered again.

The Heat Planning Act stipulates that cities and municipalities will create maps and plans in the coming years that make it clear which areas could be connected to central heating networks in the future – with heat supply from geothermal, hydrogen, biomass power plants or through waste heat from the Industry.

Climate-friendly heat

The plans are intended to show where heating networks for climate-friendly heat exist in a community, where these could still be built and where this is difficult to implement and buildings will continue to need their own heating. Homeowners can then plan accordingly.

According to the law, large cities should draw up a heat plan by June 30, 2026, while smaller cities have two years longer. There are already such plans in various communities in Germany, and several federal states have corresponding regulations.

Speakers from the traffic light parties described the law on Friday as an important step in climate protection. The Union was critical. The schedules are too short and would overwhelm the municipalities. The AfD rejected the law and spoke of an “ideological warming transition”.

The Federal Association of Consumer Organizations welcomed the project as “an important step towards increasing the proportion of heat generated without fossil fuels”. The Federal Association for Renewable Energy said that the law was a further building block “for the heat transition that has been years overdue”.