Oct 18: One Million Heat Pumps in Germany

October 2018

Germany’s Federal Association of Master Chimney Sweeps (ZIV) has released the results of its 2017 survey on central heating in Germany. For the first time, the total number of heat pumps installed in Germany has crossed the one million mark. Even though heat pumps make up only 5% of the total 21 million central heating systems in the country, new annual installations saw strong growth of 17% in 2017. Manfred Greis, President of the Federal Association of German Heating Industry (BDH), notes that heat pumps use a high share of renewable energy to heat buildings and therefore make a significant contribution to increasing the share of renewable energy in the heating market. “The 1 million mark can be considered as a market breakthrough for this efficient technology”, he says.
The survey confirmed that the installed fleet of 7.5 million obsolete gas boilers still outweighs the 5.8 million more efficient condensing gas boilers. There are also around 5 million obsolete oil-fired systems and 0.7 million oil-based condensing boilers in German basements.

According to Oswald Wilhelm, president of the ZIV, 64% of German boilers do not meet modern standards. “The modernization market is stagnating. The huge CO2 reduction potential in existing buildings can therefore not be realized fast enough”, he says. In their joint press release, the ZIV and BDH ask the government to improve support for the modernization of the obsolete existing heating systems. “There is enough capital for energy-efficiency refurbishment, but it should be activated through public incentives” according to Andreas Lücke, managing director of the BDH.

The coalition agreement between Germany’s governing parties states that the replacement of old, inefficient heating systems with modern, high-efficiency heating systems (including condensing boilers) will continue to be promoted to achieve the country’s climate goals. Public funding is currently made available through the MAP & APEE programs. At the time of writing and where the conditions are met, homeowners receive a minimum of EUR 2000 for solar-thermal systems that both support heating and provide hot water, a minimum of EUR 3500 for biomass-based systems such as a pellet boiler with heat storage, while heat pumps are eligible for a minimum of EUR 4500.

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