Radiator and Thermostat; source: istockphoto.com/EdnaM

© istockphoto.com/EdnaM

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has launched two new funding programmes that are to bring the energy transition into the home. These are the programme for funding heating optimisation via highly efficient pumps and hydraulic balancing, and the programme for funding fuel cell heating systems. The optimisation of existing heating systems is to help to quickly improve energy efficiency in an affordable manner and therefore reduce CO2 emissions. In order to achieve this goal and cut carbon emissions by around 1.8 million tonnes, up to two million heating pumps are to be replaced and 200,000 heating systems are to be subjected to a process of hydraulic balancing each year up until 2020. In addition to this, we are providing funding for fuel cell heating systems so that this new and forward-looking technology will become widely available on the market. Fuel cell technology makes it possible to generate electricity and heat at the same time, and in a highly efficient manner.

Federal Minister Gabriel said: “By launching these two new funding programmes, we are bringing energy efficiency into homes across Germany. By providing funding for measures that only require a small investment – such as replacing heating pumps or optimising heating systems – we will be able to quickly and substantially reduce CO2 emissions. And by covering 30 per cent of the investment costs of these measures, we are helping millions of homeowners and users of buildings to optimise their heating systems. In addition to this, we are providing funding for fuel cell heating systems, thus providing the right stimulus for helping this very efficient technology to become widely available on the market.”

The optimisation of existing heating systems will help to quickly improve energy efficiency. For example, replacing an old and inefficient heating pump with a highly efficient model can help reduce energy consumption by up to 80 per cent. Hydraulic balancing means that existing heating systems will be optimised in a way that ensures that homes will consume only as much heat as is actually needed. This will put an end to having to deal with radiators that won’t heat up or become too hot. The funding programme is managed by the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control and is part of the efficiency campaign run by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. Further information is also available on the Ministry’s website: www.erneuerbare-energien.de/EE/eeg-ausschreibungen.

In addition to this, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy will be launching its new programme on stationary fuel cell heating systems, which is part of the Federal Government’s energy efficiency incentive programme. This new programme is to help stationary fuel cell heating systems – a forward-looking technology that can be used to generate electricity and heat at the same time and in a very efficient manner – to become widely available on the market. Fuel cells run on hydrogen, which is produced from natural gas via a chemical process. Fuel cells use natural gas in a very effective way, and therefore help reduce CO2 emissions. They also have an edge over comparable, conventional combined heat and power generation installations due to a better relationship between the amount of waste heat that can be recovered and used to heat buildings and the amount of electricity that is generated.

For owners of residential buildings wanting to buy a fuel cell heating system, we are also providing attractive grants. The funding programme covers stationary fuel cell heating systems in new and existing buildings, which have a power output of between 0.25 and 5 kW. The level of funding that is provided is based on the installation’s level of power output. Funding can be claimed from KfW under its ‘Energy-efficient construction – fuel cell grant’ programme. For more information, please visit: www.kfw.de/433. Applications for funding can be sent to KfW from 31 August 2016. Alternatively, you can call the KfW Infocenter on +49 800 539 9002.