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Mandatory upgrade requirements

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The Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV) contains two different types of obligations concerning mandatory upgrade. The obligations in § 10 of the EnEV differ from the obligations concerning mandatory upgrade of building services in §§ 14 and 15 of the EnEV by the facts that § 10 privileges certain single- and two-family-homes and provides a special regulation about exoneration different from all other provisions of the EnEV.

Upgrading of systems and buildings (§ 10 EnEV)

Mandatory upgrading is required in § 10 of the Energy Saving Ordinance for certain cases of considerable deficits of systems and building components. These upgrades must be carried out within a determined timeframe even if these components are not subject to any (maintenance-) measures; these requirements are generally considered reasonable from an economic point of view.
Mandatory upgrading requirements address:

  • replacement of boilers that are more than 30 years old (§ 10 Section 1),
  • the insulation of previously uninsulated hot water and heating pipes in unheated space as well as their fittings (§ 10 Section 2) and
  • the insulation of previously uninsulated upper ceilings or the roof above (§ 10 Section 3).

>more about mandatory insulation of top ceilings

Privileges for single-family- and two-family-houses occupied by the owner

The above mentioned mandatory upgrade requirements are not valid for single-family and two-family-houses, if one of the flats was occupied by the owner on the reference date 1st February 2002 (getting into force of the 1st EnEV). If the ownership changed after the reference date, the mandatory update requirements have to be fulfilled by the new owner; the deadline is 2 years after the first change of ownership.

Special provision for exoneration

The mandatory upgrades according to § 10 sections 2 (insulation of pipes), 3 (insulation of upper ceilings) and 4 (upgrades in case of changes ownership) EnEV must not be fulfilled in case that the necessary expenses for upgrading cannot be generated through the arising savings within a reasonable timeframe. The owner herself/himself shall assess for the given case whether this is applicable. If partial measures are economically reasonable, these have to be carried out nonetheless. The result of such an economic assessment should be documented in order to create legal certainty. Concerning the methods, it is recommended to follow the provisions given for formal applications for exoneration. Since these measures are generally not combined with any maintenance measures of building components, - unlike the procedure in case of conditional requirements - the full costs of the measure may be taken into account in an economic assessment.

Details are regulated in the EnEV §10 (5) as follows:

"(5) Paragraphs 2 to 4 shall not be applied if the necessary retrofitting expenses cannot be repaid through the achieved savings within a reasonable timeframe."

Further cases of mandatory upgrading given in §§ 14 and 15 EnEV

Control devices of heat distribution systems and hot water systems (§ 14 sections 1 and 2)

Before the incorporation into the EnEV, certain requirements for heat distribution systems and hot water systems in § 14 (installation of central as well as room-by-room control devices) were already formulated in the former Heating Appliances Ordinance as obligatory upgrades connected with case-specific, long expired deadlines.

For cases where these deadlines were missed earlier, the obligation remains. In these cases, upgrading is necessary immediately after the discovery of the violation of a rule.

Controls in AC-systems (§ 15 section 2)

§ 15 section 2 requires upgrades with automatic control devices providing separate target settings for humidifiers/dehumidifiers in the case of existing air conditioning systems that are also intended to adjust indoor air humidity if such controls are not present. The deadline is connected with the date of detection of the fault in the course of an inspection.

Exonerations via formal application

Exonerations from the aforementioned obligations for economic reasons are possible, but only by the authority in charge (according to regional legislation) on application referring to § 25 paragraph 1 EnEV (see exoneration from requirements). Unlike the procedure in case of conditional requirements, in case of these mandatory upgrade requirements the full costs of the measure may be taken into account in an economic assessment.

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