Only a few days after the plans were passed in the cabinet, the FDP and SPD report further need for corrections when replacing the heating system. At the weekend, the FDP party congress passed a motion entitled “Building Energy Act: Smarter climate protection instead of attacking property”. SPD Health Minister Karl Lauterbach called for generous exemptions for hospitals, care and rehabilitation facilities in the planned gradual replacement of oil and gas heating systems. CDU representatives harshly criticized the plans.

Green faction leader reminds FDP of appointments

Green party leader Katharina Dröge is now reminding the coalition partner FDP of agreements on heating exchanges. “Leading a party or parliamentary group responsibly in times of government means standing by what you have united,” said Dröge of the German Press Agency in Berlin. “We assume that the agreements and commitments that the FDP makes to the chancellor and in the coalition are reliable.”

The federal government passed the reform of the so-called Building Energy Act on Wednesday, even though Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) put his concerns on the record. According to this, the core principle remains that from January 1, 2024, every newly installed heating system must be operated with 65 percent renewable energies. Pure gas or oil heating systems should therefore no longer be newly installed. However, there should be exceptions, transition periods and comprehensive funding.

FDP: “Dogmatic preliminary determinations”

The original draft by Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) for the reform of the building energy law is an example of “the wrong climate and energy policy of the Greens,” according to an FDP party conference resolution on the subject. “Dogmatic pre-determinations of individual technologies, mania for planned economy regulation down to the last detail and ignorant overload of those affected”. In another resolution, the delegates emphasized: “The Building Energy Act needs major changes in order to be brought into line with the goals and values ​​of the Free Democrats. The state should enable people in Germany to lead a self-determined life, but the Building Energy Act goes deep into freedom people’s decision.” The FDP has serious and fundamental reservations, but the party congress did not give its own MPs in the Bundestag any detailed specifications for the upcoming negotiations.

More specific demands for improvements came from the SPD. Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) called for generous exemptions for hospitals, care and rehabilitation facilities in the “Bild am Sonntag” (BamS) when it comes to heating renewal. “We will not allow rising energy and heating costs to endanger the existence of hospitals,” he said. Specifically, it should be possible for the facilities to apply for the installation of a new gas heating system under certain circumstances in the future.

Also criticism of plans for wood and pellet heating

SPD parliamentary group leader Matthias Miersch expressed skepticism about the restrictions on the use of wood and pellet heating systems planned by Habeck and Building Minister Klara Geywitz (SPD). Homeowners would have to have different options for heating available in the future, “including biomass,” Miersch told the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung” (NOZ). “The main thing is at least 65 percent renewable.” Miersch emphasized that the switch to climate-friendly heating technologies must be “affordable for everyone”. According to the cabinet decision, heating with biomass such as wood should only remain an option in existing buildings where other solutions are not feasible or sensible, for example because of monument protection.

Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer heavily criticized the latest climate policy plans of the traffic light coalition of SPD, Greens and SPD. “The plans of this government are leading to de-industrialization and riots among the population,” said the CDU politician to “Bild am Sonntag” (“BamS”). “Many citizens will simply not be able to afford the required conversion of their house or apartment.”

The federal government is planning a subsidy rate of 30 percent for the replacement of the heating system. If supplements are added in the form of so-called climate bonuses, up to 50 percent subsidies would be possible. CDU leader Friedrich Merz warned of incalculable consequences for the federal budget. “There will be billions that private households will now have to make available to finance this decision with a crowbar,” he said in Deutschlandfunk’s “Interview of the Week”. Finance Minister Lindner should therefore have vetoed it in the cabinet.

For his part, Economics Minister Habeck accused the previous governments under ex-Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) of a lack of commitment to the fight against global warming. “In the abstract, we thought climate protection was good, and you could get away with that in the Merkel era, but it never really became concrete, and now it’s becoming concrete,” said Habeck at an event of the daily newspaper “taz” in Berlin at the weekend. “We now have to take care of the concrete. And that’s why it’s so crunchy.” At the same time, he warned against understanding climate protection as a “milieu issue”: “We can argue about what the best concepts are, but we shouldn’t argue about the fact that we are all responsible for presenting concepts. And I think that’s just beginning .”