Federal Cabinet Decision: How does the heating tax relief work?


Status: 5/25/2022 15:56

The traffic light government has decided to exempt many tenants from the CO2 tax. What are the plans in detail?

Author: Mark Ehren, tagesschau.de

What is the heating cost relief?

The draft “Act on the allocation of carbon dioxide costs” regulates the distribution of additional burdens for the consumption of heating oil and natural gas in buildings between tenants and landlords. Landlords can now fully pass on the additional costs associated with the CO2 price to their tenants.

What is the price of CO2?

Since 2021, a carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions tax has been charged in Germany to reduce these climate-damaging emissions. There is currently a price of EUR 30 per tonne of CO2 emitted when heating and burning fuel. It will gradually increase to 55 euros in 2025.

How to split costs?

In the future, the division into tenants and owners will apply in the ten-step model. The best tier is for properties that emit less than twelve kilograms of CO2 per year for heating per square meter of living space. According to the Federal Ministry of Economy, this corresponds to the “very efficient EH 55 standard”, or “KfW Efficiency House 55”. According to the draft act, the cost of CO2 emissions is borne entirely by the tenant.

Owners should participate in the CO2 tax

Uli Meerkamm, ARD Berlin, daily news at 8pm on May 25, 2022

The worst category is buildings emitting 52 kilograms of CO2 or more per square meter of living space per year. Here, 90 percent of the CO2 costs have to be borne by the owner and only ten percent by the tenant.

How much CO2 is produced by burning natural gas and fuel oil?

Burning one cubic meter of natural gas produces around two kilograms of CO2, and one liter of light fuel oil produces around 2.9 kilograms.

How much has the price of carbon dioxide emissions increased tenants’ costs so far?

According to earlier information, the tenants’ association assumes that a model household in an unrenovated flat will incur additional costs of up to EUR 130 per year for natural gas and EUR 190 for heating oil due to the CO2 tax. By 2025, the additional costs should rise to as much as EUR 238 for gas and EUR 350 for heating oil. These costs are for allocation.

How much relief can there be in practice?

According to the calculations of the comparative portal Verivox, tenants of a 100-meter apartment in the most effective category of the two-story model would have to pay around EUR 33 per year. In an equally large apartment with the least efficient level, i.e. with a particularly high energy consumption, tenants would pay approx. EUR 16 per year, and the landlord – approx. EUR 140.

How is a building’s CO2 emissions determined?

Tenants and landlords should obtain the necessary carbon footprint data from the heating bill, and the allocation should be made independently between tenants. “There is no need to consult the authorities or private third parties,” said the minister.

What are the exceptions?

If government regulations significantly reduce the possibilities for energy-efficient renovation for owners, they have to contribute less or not at all to the CO2 price. It may be a question of monument protection requirements that may prevent the walls from being insulated.

Even in the case of real estate on the so-called In environmental areas with more stringent requirements for changes in appearance, owners should be less burdened.

In some areas, homeowners have no choice but to accept supplies from local district heating networks – this also aims to reduce their share.

For commercial type homes where no one lives, the costs should initially be shared equally.

When will the new regulation come into force?

The act is to enter into force at the beginning of the new year and will apply to all accounting periods beginning on or after that date.

What is the federal government saying?

Federal Minister for Economy and Climate Protection, Robert Habeck (Greens), praised the new regulation as socially fair. The worse the building is insulated, the fewer tenants can take remedial measures. “Conversely, a landlord who has refurbished a building for energy efficiency can also pass on costs. Because then, for example, the roof and windows are well insulated, so that tenants in particular can still contribute to saving energy and thus reduce heating costs by saving them to reduce them. “Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP) said that” very much simple arithmetic operation “can be used to determine where the building is sorted.

The Federal Minister of Construction, Klara Geywitz (SPD) explained that the regulation which is currently being drafted is a transitional solution. “Therefore, we will evaluate them in terms of their performance and work on using energy certificates as the basis of the model.”

What is the criticism of the plans?

Tenants’ representatives are concerned that the costs of a possible renovation, which the owners could spend on reducing their share, will ultimately be passed on to the tenants.

Marco Luczak (CDU), spokesman for the construction policy of the Union faction, described the proposal as a “fraudulent package”. It is unfair that when sharing the costs, it is not the energy condition of the building that matters, but the amount of fuel used. This penalizes owners who have already refurbished their buildings. “Because the amount of fuel consumed depends on many factors, such as the number of users and weather conditions, which vary greatly from region to region,” explained Łuczak. “There is also a risk that large families and the elderly will suffer as they generally use more energy. It will be even harder for them to find a flat in the future because they fall into a crack when choosing a landlord. ‘

What will happen now?

The federal cabinet passed the law on Wednesday. Now the Bundestag has yet to agree.

The federal government decides to exempt tenants from CO2 costs

Hans-Joachim Vieweger, ARD Berlin, May 25, 2022 5:01 pm

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