Much of the financial support and incentives for energy efficiency in buildings and industry in Germany is issued by the KfW development bank. Demand for the promotion of energy efficiency in the home and in businesses was particularly high in 2016, the bank reports.
Growth was particularly strong in the bank’s housing priority, where commitments reached a volume of EUR 20.8 billion (2015: EUR 16.5 billion), with more than EUR 11 billion disbursed in the energy-efficient construction programme alone (2015: EUR 7.0 billion). The strength of the new construction sector and low interest rates have provided a strong and lasting boost to demand. The bank reports that the tighter KfW efficiency house standards have been very well received. 290,000 existing housing units underwent energy efficient refurbishment in 2016 with KfW funding.
The overall increase in funding issued to businesses under the bank’s environment and energy priority was largely due to the energy efficiency program, which was restructured and significantly improved in 2015 and through which a total of EUR 5.2 billion (2015: EUR 3.8 billion) was issued. The expansion of the energy efficiency program has leveraged energy-saving potential in companies, for example through the promotion of systems aimed at avoiding or using exhaust heat, which was launched in May 2016.