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The principle of economic feasibility in the Energy Saving Act and corresponding regulations of the Energy Saving Ordinance

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The Energy Saving Act (“Energieeinsparungsgesetz” (EnEG)) empowers the Federal Government to legislate ordinances that set energy requirements for buildings and their technical systems. The principle of economic efficiency is firmly anchored in these provisions. The regulations about feasibility and cost effectiveness of requirements given in the EnEG form the background for pro-visions for exoneration within the Energy Saving Ordinance.

The common requirements for legislative ordinances are regulated by the § 5 section 1 EnEG (analogous translation):

"(1) The requirements set by the ordinances according to §§ 1 to 4 [Note: This refers to requirements in relation to thermal insulation, system technology, operation] must be attainable with the state of technology and must be economically feasible for buildings of the same type and use. Requirements are considered as economically feasible if the necessary expenses can generally be generated through the arising savings within the typical useful lifetime. For existing buildings, the expected remain-ing useful lifetime must be taken into account."

The legislator had to respect this essential principle in issuing the Energy Saving Ordinance. In light of this, economic efficiency analyses were carried out with each update and with each newly issued regulation (for EnEV 2013: see menu item Accompanying Studies ). These studies prove the general cost effectiveness of the requirements (i.e., a reasonable amortization period):

  • with generalized cost functions based on a respective preliminary investigation,
  • with politically sanctioned economic constraints (energy prices, energy price development, construction cost development, interest rates, interest rate development),
  • for typical model cases/model buildings, and
  • without consideration of the landlord-tenant relationship (i.e., assuming that the investor for an energy saving measure is also a beneficiary of the energy savings).

As far as in individual cases the cost effectiveness cannot be achieved, the Energy Saving Ordinance foresees the possibility of exoneration from requirements .

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