The New German Energy Saving Ordinance

Germany

This article was produced by Olswang LLP, which joined with CMS on 1 May 2017.

The amendment to the Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV) comes into effect on 1 May 2014 and concerns the following:

• A tightening of the information obligations when selling and renting out
• Stricter obligations to upgrade existing buildings
• Raising the energy efficiency requirements for new builds

Information obligations

The Energy Saving Ordinance 2014 tightens the obligation to inform potential buyers or tenants of the data to be found in the energy performance certificate. As of 1 May 2014, the energy performance certificate must be available to a potential buyer or tenant at the viewing stage at the latest - presentation of a copy of this certificate shall suffice. If the energy performance certificate is not available, there is the threat of an administrative fine. The previously common clause which allowed a buyer to forego presentation of the energy performance certificate shall therefore no longer be used as, otherwise, the violation of the information obligation would be documented by a notary.

In addition, the Energy Saving Ordinance 2014 requires necessary disclosures in real estate advertisements relating to both selling and renting. If an energy performance certificate issued after 1 May 2014 is available, the seller or the landlord must ensure that a commercially displayed real estate advertisement contains the following information:

  • The type of energy performance certificate (requirements or consumption certificate)
  • The value of the final energy demand or consumption as per the energy performance certificate
  • The building's principal heat source
  • In the case of residential buildings: the year of construction and the energy efficiency category stated in the energy performance certificate

If an energy performance certificate exists for the building about to be sold or rented out which was issued based on the previous version of the Energy Saving Ordinance (valid from 1 October 2007), adapted specifications shall apply. In the case of residential buildings, for example, the final energy demand or the energy consumption value must be indicated.

Obligations to upgrade

The Energy Saving Ordinance 2014 tightens the obligations to upgrade in relation to existing properties:

  • Oil and gas boilers installed before 1 January 1985 will have to be decommissioned as of 2015. Boilers of this type installed after 1 January 1985 must be taken out of service after 30 years. Previously, the replacement obligation only applied to boilers installed prior to 1978.
  • If the top-floor ceiling does not comply with minimum thermal insulation requirements (DIN 4108-2: 2013-02), insulation must be incorporated by 31 December 2015.
The previously applicable exceptions concerning the obligations to upgrade shall continue to remain in force.

Tightening of the energy efficiency requirements in new builds

The Energy Saving Ordinance 2014 tightens the minimum energy efficiency requirements in relation to new buildings in the residential and commercial sectors. As of 2016, the permitted annual primary energy consumption is to be reduced, on average, by 25 percent and, at the same time, the thermal insulation of the building shell is to be raised by an average of 20 percent. Proof that the respective stipulations of the Energy Saving Ordinance have been satisfied in relation to the completed structure generally follows from the energy performance certificate.