Sustainable building is on trend – Find out everything about Germany’s subsidy programmes.

Constructing energy-efficient buildings protects the climate and in the long term your wallet too. There are various ways for the state to provide help for you to implement your plans.

Climate change forces us to think differently – on our building sites too. Numerous ministries, initiatives and research institutions are currently occupied with the question of how a building’s carbon footprint can be sustainably reduced with regard to construction and energy supply. At their autumn conference, state construction ministers discussed various options for enabling buildings to be made with wood.

Such debates should be well received by consumers. Ultimately, according to a Forsa survey, when it comes to personal construction plans, taking environmental protection into consideration plays a decisive role for 82 per cent of Germans. For 94 per cent of those surveyed, low costs for energy, maintenance and repairs would be “important” or “very important”, and 94 per cent want materials and construction methods to support the health and well-being of occupants.
Which is something sustainable building owners and those who would like to become so should take note of.

What does energy-efficient building mean?


The minimum legal requirements for a low-energy construction or energy-saving house are set out in the Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV) and the Renewable Energy Heating Act (EEWärmeG). In essence, the following features play a role here:

  • optimal insulation of the building envelope
  • the use of renewable energy
  • ventilation using waste heat recovery

However, the EnEV only defines the upper limits for the primary energy consumption of new buildings. In this area, developers can decide if they want to invest more in insulation or home technology for example – or even go beyond legal provisions. What’s always important is that a holistic concept is followed for construction and renovation work. Individual measures must be well-coordinated with one another in order to have the greatest possible impact.

What funding is available?


The state sponsors new buildings with the housing efficiency standards 55, 40 and 40 plus via the Credit Institute for Reconstruction (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau – KfW). Through the programme Energieeffizient Bauen 153 (Energy-efficient Construction 153), for example, low-interest loans of up to 100,000 euros are available in addition to repayment bonuses.

Renovators benefit from similar conditions via the programme Energieeffizient Sanieren 151 (Energy-efficient Renovation 151) In addition, under certain conditions, the KfW also funds individual measures such as the renewal of heating systems or the exchange of windows and doors (Programme 152). Generally speaking, it is important that the funding is always applied for before the work itself has been commissioned.

“Anyone wanting to build a new house or modernise their existing one should consider an assessment for the possible use of KfW funds in their overall financing”, recommends Marc-Philipp Unger, Head of Property and Financing at MLP. However, it is not always easy to keep an overview of all the programmes – especially as they can be combined in different ways. Here, MLP advsiors can help with their experience and market insights. “In addition, you are also well placed to judge whether an existing building loan contract for energy efficiency measures can also be applied”, Unger states.

Who helps during the planning?


Energy advisers or specially trained construction supervisors support you in actively planning and building or optimising your home, and in changing your own behaviour with regards to energy efficiency. The website provides a list of experts across Germany with proven corresponding qualifications and further training. The portal is operated by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWI), together with the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) and the KfW.

The fee is dependent on the property and scope of the work. For a detailed analysis of the energy conditions in your home and renovation concept, builders and property owners must factor in a cost of 1,000 euros. However, there are also public grants available for these costs. In this way, BAFA will take on 60 per cent of the eligible expert fees (for a single family house or duplex a maximum of 800 euros). For total construction supervision by an expert in energy efficiency, the KfW will cover 50 per cent of the costs and/or a maximum of 4,000 euros (Programme 431).

Helpful links

Using their interactive graphic, the KfW makes clear which energy efficiency measures they fund.
In addition, an overview of potential cash injections from federal and state bodies has been compiled by the consulting firm co2online.

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This article was published in german language from MLP. You can read the original article here.

Image source:

  • YGM_Sustainable_building: © Alberto Masnovo /, #613912244)