There are various ways to use renewable energy to heat a building and provide hot water. Here are a few examples:

  • Solar thermal energy: This is usually installed on the roof of a building and converts sunlight into heat. The system can cover part of the heat needed for hot water, e.g. for the shower, and possibly also some of the space heating.
  • Biomass: Examples include wood pellet or log boilers generating heat for heating and hot water.
  • Heat pump: A heat pump uses heat from the air, groundwater or the ground.

The MAP is a funding programme operated by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy which provides incentives to make greater use of renewable energy to generate heat: private consumers, members of the professions, companies, municipalities and other eligible parties such as non-profit organisations receive a grant from the state if they install an efficient and climate-friendly heating system.

The installation of heating systems that are operated entirely using renewable energy, such as heat pumps and biomass systems, is supported with an investment grant of up to 35 percent. If an old oil heating system is replaced, the funding rate may be increased to 45 per cent.

Gas hybrid heating systems with a renewables-based share of at least 25 per cent – for example through the integration of solar thermal energy – can be supported with an investment grant of up to 30 per cent. If an old oil heating system is replaced, the funding rate may be raised to 40 per cent.

Gas condensing boilers that have been built ready to integrate renewable energy later on in time can be supported with an investment grant of up to 20 per cent.

Funding is also provided for setting up heat networks and heat storage units.

More than 1.8 million systems have already been funded via the MAP since 2000. Consumers can find more information and application forms on the website of the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA), at www.heizen-mit-erneuerbaren-energien.de (in German). Businesses and municipalities using larger systems can find information on the website of KfW (in German).

Private home-owners, members of the professions, companies, municipalities and other eligible parties such as non-profit organisations. This does not apply to the Federal Government, the Länder and their agencies or manufacturers of eligible appliances.

Under the MAP, funding can only be provided for installations that meet a number of technical minimum requirements.

The technical criteria for installations to be eligible for funding in the form of an investment grant can be found on the BAFA website (in German).

Information about which types of installations are eligible for receiving subsidised loans can be found on the website of KfW (in German).

Certified energy auditors (www.energie-effizienz-experten.de (in German)) should be consulted for advice on which type of installation is best suited for a particular building prior to an application for funding.

The installation of heating systems that are operated entirely using renewable energy, such as heat pumps and biomass systems, is supported with an investment grant of up to 35 per cent. If an old oil heating system is replaced, the funding rate may be increased to 45 per cent.

Gas hybrid heating systems with a renewables-based share of at least 25 per cent – for example through the integration of solar thermal energy – can receive an investment grant of up to 30 per cent. If an old oil heating system is replaced, the funding rate may be increased to 40 per cent.

Gas condensing boilers that have been built ready to integrate renewable energy at a later point in time can be supported with an investment grant of up to 20 per cent. The additional integration of heat from renewable energy sources must be proven no later than two years after commissioning. In addition, hybrid-capable control and regulation technology for the future renewable part of the heating system must be installed from the outset.

Eligible costs of up to 50,000 euros per residential unit can be taken into account.

You can find more information about the funding on the website of the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control BAFA) at www.heizen-mit-erneuerbaren-energien.de (in German), or call the BAFA hotline on 06196 908-1625.

It is important that you submit a grant application prior to commissioning the installation of the system. What steps do you need to take?

  • First of all, you need to select a heating system that is eligible for funding under the MAP. An energy auditor can help you make the right choice.
  • You then need to go to the website of the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) and open the MAP online application form. More information on the application procedure can be found here (in German).
  • Fill in the application and click on ‘send’ to submit it electronically to the BAFA. If documentation is required, you can upload it via the Upload section.
  • You can now sign the contract to have the system installed and get it up and running.
  • Submit the proof of use and the requested documents to the BAFA before the date specified in the letter of approval.

For more information about the funding procedure, please contact the Division responsible for the MAP at the BAFA on 06196 908-2156 or -2721.

There are two funding methods available to you: you have the choice between applying for an investment grant from BAFA or for a KfW subsidised loan including a repayment grant.

The following funding rates apply to investment grants:

  • The installation of heating systems that are operated entirely using renewable energy, such as heat pumps and biomass systems, is supported with an investment grant of up to 35 per cent. If an old oil heating system is replaced, the funding rate may be increased to 45 per cent.
  • Gas hybrid heating systems with a renewables-based share of at least 25 per cent – for example through the integration of solar thermal energy – can be supported with an investment grant of up to 30 per cent. If an old oil heating system is replaced, the funding rate may be increased to 40 per cent.
  • Gas condensing boilers that have been built ready to integrate renewable energy later on in time can be supported with an investment grant of up to 20 per cent. The additional integration of heat from renewable energy sources must be proven no later than two years after commissioning. In addition, hybrid-capable control and regulation technology for the future renewable part of the heating system must be installed from the outset.

Eligible costs of up to 50,000 euros per residential unit can be taken into account.

For investments in large renewable energy systems, large heat storage units and heating networks, loans including a repayment grant may be obtained under the KfW programme lines ‘KfW Renewable Energies Premium Programme’ and ‘KfW Renewable Energies Premium Programme – Deep Geothermal Energy’ (KfW product no. 271/ 281/ 272/ 282). The precise level of the repayment subsidies depends mainly on the type of installation and the level of investment.

  • In the case of a solar collector system, the repayment grant will cover up to 40% of the eligible net investment.
  • Biomass installations can be supported with repayment grants of up to €100,000, and biomass cogeneration plants may be granted up to €40 per kW of installed nominal heat output. In the case of biogas pipelines, the repayment grant will cover up to 30% of the eligible net investment.
  • Heat pumps may be supported with a repayment grant of up to €100,000.
  • In the case of heat storage units, the repayment grant can be up to €1 million.
  • Funding support is available for deep geothermal energy systems up to a maximum of €2 million per individual system, and funding for drilling costs may be granted to the amount of up to €2.5 million per borehole.

Extra plus: If particularly inefficient heating systems are replaced, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) grants energy-efficient municipalities a further, 30 per cent higher repayment grant from the Energy Efficiency Incentive Programme (APEE) as part of the so-called ‘heating package’.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) receive an additional 10% grant, i.e. their repayment grant is increased by another 10%. For example, instead of a repayment grant of €25,000, they receive one of €27,500. Further information about KfW funding for larger-scale systems via preferential loans and repayment grants can be found here.

The funding available to expand existing or build new local heating networks may be particularly of interest for municipalities and large companies. To be eligible for MAP funding, a certain percentage of the heat distributed by these networks must be renewables-based. The required percentage varies and depends on the energy sources of the heat and whether the heat is mainly going to existing or to new buildings. Funding is available in the form of repayment grants: up to €60 are provided per metre, with the maximum repayment grant being €1 million, or €1.5 million in cases where heat from deep geothermal energy installations is fed into the heat network.

If you have further questions about preferential loans and repayment grants, please contact KfW (in German) directly. If you wish to clarify questions by phone, you can contact the Infocenter of the KfW (in German).

In principle, MAP funding can be combined with other government funding programmes, e.g. from the Länder, as long as maximum limits under EU law are not exceeded. It is recommended for expert advice to be taken.

For certain funding programmes – particularly the KfW ‘Energy-efficient construction and retrofitting’ programme set up in the context of the CO2 Building Renovation Programme – there are restrictions which prohibit cumulation if the same investment costs are to be assisted. But this rule only applies to the investment costs for the same measure. In other words, the installation of a heating system which uses renewable energy can only be supported with funding once: either via the MAP or in the form of a KfW subsidised loan, for example in the case of comprehensive renovation to achieve an “efficiency house” standard. But if, in the context of a comprehensive refurbishment of a building, not only the new heating system is installed but further measures are taken – e.g. insulation of the building envelope or replacement of the windows, etc. – funding can be claimed for this additional work from the KfW funding support measure ‘Energy-efficient refurbishment’, and the installation costs e.g. of a new pellet heating system can be funded via the MAP.

Energy-generating installations which receive funding under the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) or the Combined Heat and Power Act (KWKG) cannot receive funding under the MAP. Exemptions from this rule are deep geothermal energy installations, biomass installations that are used for combined heat and power generation, and biogas pipelines provided that the gas these transport is used for generating both electricity and heat. These installations/pipelines are eligible for funding under the MAP even if they already receive funding under the EEG or the KWKG.

If you are interested in investment grants, please call the hotline of the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) on +49 6196 908-1625.

Businesses and municipalities interested in installing larger-scale systems (larger than 100 kilowatts of nominal heat output in the case of biomass installations and heat pumps) which have questions about preferential loans and repayment grants can contact the Infocenter of the KfW directly.

You can find contact details of local energy consultants at www.machts-effizient.de/expertenliste (in german).