Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig (SPD) has criticized the plans of Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) to ban new oil and gas heating systems from 2024. "I think these plans are unfair and useless," she said on Sunday. Incentives would have to be set for the heat transition and support programs would have to be started instead of threatening coercive measures.
Such a plan raises problems, especially in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. "Particularly in rural areas, many citizens with low and medium incomes or pensioners also have a small house here. They can't just put higher five or even six-digit amounts into the renovation of their house."
From Schwesig's point of view, the plans in the EU for compulsory renovation of houses with high energy consumption are also problematic. Climate protection will only succeed if people are taken along, she warned.
Lower Saxony's Prime Minister Stephan Weil (SPD) had previously criticized Habeck's plans. "His timetable is not realistic and in the end does more harm than good," said Weil of the "Bild am Sonntag". According to the Prime Minister, many problems have not yet been resolved: “Are there enough installers? What about the people who cannot afford a heat pump?”
He expects Habeck to "urgently sit down with the construction and housing industry, the heating technicians and the energy industry and check: by when will we achieve which goal". It was “very clear” that longer and therefore more realistic transition periods would be needed for “the conversion of the heating system”. "An installation ban from 2024 is not realistic," said Weil.
A joint draft bill by the Ministry of Construction and the Ministry of Economics stipulates that from 2024 oil and gas heating may no longer be installed in new buildings. It was agreed in the coalition agreement that all newly installed heating systems from 2025 must generate at least 65 percent of their heat from renewable energy sources. According to experts, this is not feasible with oil and gas plants.
However, there is resistance to the draft bill – including from the coalition partner FDP, for whom the project goes too far. However, Habeck had confirmed his plans almost two weeks ago and at the same time announced billions in social support for the measure. Germany must "catch up in a short time" when switching to renewable energies, which has not been done in recent years, said the Economics Minister.
Weil spoke in the "BamS" in favor of linking state aid for retrofitting heating systems to the level of income. "We shouldn't subsidize the purchase of every heat pump with a fixed amount, but stagger the state aid depending on the level of income," said the SPD politician. The obligation to renovate should not lead to "people with little wealth and income losing their house".
If Economics Minister Habeck has his way, the installation of new oil and gas heating systems should be banned from 2024. "The people who worked on the law are real believers," says WELT energy expert Michael Fabricius. But they would forget one important point.
From the point of view of FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr, the concept of an income orientation of the planned aid for the installation of new heating systems has not been sufficiently thought through. "I'm concerned that such a support regime will be unfair," Dürr told the "Mediengruppe Bayern": "We shouldn't ban any heating technologies, we should only make specifications for CO₂ neutrality. There may soon be gas heaters that can be operated with hydrogen.”