New Legislation In Germany. From 2009 The Energy Requirements For New Constructions Are to Be Extended

16 May 2008

As a result of the recently approved integrated climate and energy program passed by the German government, as of January next year the technical requirements to reduce use of energy in new buildings will be more stringent. These demands will be incorporated into the planning permission and later execution of this, as well as in the content of the civil contracts. With this new legislation, the German government expects a 40% reduction in greenhouse gases by the year 2020 with respect to 1990.

An important aspect of this legislation is the designated law for renewable thermal energy in which the renewable energy quota for the provision of heat must increase by 14% by the year 2020, and by which the use of renewable energy will be obligatory in all new buildings. In addition to this, the government soon expects to pass a new energy saving regulation by which the energy requirements applicable to new buildings will be increased by 30% from 2009, with the same proportional increase proposed in 2012. With this new regulation, energy savings will see a 45% increase with respect to the current regulations in force.

According to a consolidated jurisprudence from the German superior courts, the completed project should correspond to the general technical regulations applicable at that time. The real estate agent or company will assume the risk of possible technical modifications that may occur between the execution of the contract and the completion of the project. Logically this requirement applies to the energy requirements of the building. For this reason, the constructor must ensure that the most up to date regulations are applied.

In the case where the project is received by a developer during 2009 or later, once the construction is started and built according to the previous law in force, the constructor should clearly indicate that the building does not conform to the new regulations. For this reason the contract should mention, in a clear manner, the non-application of the strictest energy requirements pursuant to the recent regulation of energy savings as well as the thermal renewable energy law previously referred to.

For further information, please contact Tilman Scheffczyk: