Zum 1. November 2020 hat das Gebäudeenergiegesetz (GEG) das bisherige Energieeinsparungsgesetz (EnEG), die bisherige Energieeinsparverordnung (EnEV) und das bisherige Erneuerbare-Energien-Wärmegesetz (EEWärmeG) abgelöst. Aus diesem Grund wird das Bundesinstitut für Bau-, Stadt- und Raumforschung das Infoportal Energieeinsparung in Kürze an den neuen Rechtsstand anpassen. Die Arbeiten dazu laufen mit Hochdruck. Der neue auf das GEG umgestaltete Internetauftritt wird innerhalb der nächsten Wochen zur Verfügung stehen.

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Exoneration from the requirements of the current Energy Saving Ordinance

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§ 5 Energy Saving Act (EnEG) states (unofficial translation):

"(2) In the ordinances, it shall be provided that exonerations from requirements may be granted if these would lead to undue hardships in individual cases due to special circumstances of disproportionate expenses or otherwise."

Exoneration from the requirements of the Energy Saving Ordinance (“Energieeinsparverordnung, EnEV”) is possible in individual cases. This applies to renovation requirements and modernisation measures as well as to requirements concerning new buildings and extensions to existing buildings.

The requirements for exoneration in individual cases are stated in § 25 EnEV (unofficial translation):

"(1) The authority in charge according to regional legislation shall grant exoneration from the requirements of this ordinance upon application if these would lead to undue hardships in individual cases due to special circumstances of disproportionate expenses or otherwise. An undue hardship arises especially when the necessary expenses for requirements of existing buildings, within the typical useful lifetime, cannot be generated through the arising savings within a reasonable period of time."

In order to obtain an exoneration according to § 25 clause 1 EnEV, the building owner must prove an undue hardship. An undue hardship is given especially, if in the individual case the necessary investments are economically inefficient. To prove the inefficiency, the following must be taken into account:

  • The economic inefficiency of the measure must be clearly recognizable.
  • Proof must be shown for each individual measure.
  • Only the energy-related additional (investment) costs can be considered – maintenance-induced expenses must not be included ("coupling principle").
  • The evaluation of economic efficiency shall generally take place using dynamic calculation procedures.
  • An exoneration shall only be granted to the extent that compliance with the requirements is not economically justifiable (i.e., usually not a total exemption but just a partial exoneration, e.g., with respect to the level of the requirements or limited to subsections of the construction project).

An overview of procedures for evaluating the efficiency and the necessary constraints can be found under the section “Economics”. An overview showing the method and boundary conditions used in the economic calculations for the recent amendment of the EnEV can be found here (german language only):

Nevertheless, the German Federal States ("Bundesländer") may determine conditions and reliable procedures for the evaluation of efficiency. The regulations may differ in different Federal States. Hassia and Northrhine-Westfalia published respective regulations.

Further information concerning exceptions and the handling of exonerations can be found in several official interpretations (published by the >Deutsches Institut für Bautechnik, DIBt< and >here< )

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