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The new law was passed in the German parliament, the Bundestag, on June 18, 2020 and has now been sent to the federal council, the Bundesrat, for its approval. The last opportunity for this before the summer break comes on July 3rd, 2020. If the Bundesrat approves it, the new act would be signed into law by the president and promulgated in the federal gazette. There would then a transition period and - if the timetable were to contain no surprises - we could expect the GEG to come into force at the beginning of 2021.
The Building Energy Act brings together in one law the various regulations for building energy efficiency and the use of heat from renewable sources, namely the Energy Saving Act (EnEG), the Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV) and the Renewable Energy Heat Act (EEWärmeG). It also implements the European Union’s energy performance of buildings directive (EPBD) and defines the nZEB near-zero energy building standard, or Niedrigstenergiegebäudestandard.
The current requirements for energy efficiency in new and existing buildings have largely been carried forward from existing legislation. There will however be more ways to comply with the requirements and new technologies have been included. Another innovation is that electricity generated with solar PV on or near a new residential building can be used to meet the minimum renewable energy requirements for heating and cooling, which is not currently possible under EEWärmeG.
The Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development has taken a detailed look at the draft law – there’s a link below.