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Energy Saving Act (EnEG)

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The Energy Saving Act ("Energieeinsparungsgesetz" (EnEG)) was issued in 1976 to improve the balance of trade, more precisely to reduce the dependency of the Federal Republic of Germany on imported energy carriers. The act does not contain any regulations directly affecting the citizen but empowers the Federal Government to legislate ordinances. Thereby the approval of the "Bundesrat" (Parliament representing the German Federal States) is necessary. Since then, ordinances that pose energetic requirements on buildings and their appliances can be legislated based on the EnEG.

Since it is effective, the following ordinances have been enacted based on the: Energy Saving Act:

The Energy Saving Act was adjusted in some points for the implementation of the European Directive on Energy Performance of buildings. The amendments essentially concern the addition of principles for energetic requirements on lighting systems as well as for the issuance of energy certificates. In a further step (2nd April 2009), the act was amended with provisions for the implementation of the German Integrated Energy and Climate Program ("IEKP 2007")

The most recent amendment by the "Fourth Law amending the Energy Saving Act" of 4th July 2013 mainly served for the implementation of the recast European directive on Ernergy Performance of Buildings (2010/31/EU) and created the legal basis for the changes included in the recent amendment of the Energy Saving Ordinance. This mainly concerns the basic obligation that new buildings will have to be "Nearly Zero Energy Buildings" (buildings owned and used by public authorities from 2019, all other new buildings from 2021). Furthermore, initiated by the "Bundestag", the requirement to shut-off electrical storage heaters – intended to get into force in 2020 – was abandoned (see Article 1a of the "Fourth Law amending the Energy Saving Act"
The current version of the EnEG with the provisions that came into force on 13th July 2013 empowers the Federal Government inter alia:

  • to set up requirements concerning the thermal insulation of new buildings,
  • in connection with the above mentioned basic obligation that new buildings will have to be "Nearly Zero Energy Buildings", to set up requirements on the energy performance of these buildings,
  • to set up requirements concerning design, selection and construction of systems or installations for heating, ventilation, cooling, lighting and hot water supply,
  • to set up requirements concerning thermal insulation and technical appliances in case of buildings undergoing major renovations, and – under certain preconditions – to foresee specific requirements for buildings and appliances not subject to any other changes,
  • to set up requirements concerning the operation of systems and installations for heating, ventilation, cooling, lighting and hot water supply,
  • to set up requirements on the determination and distribution of costs of collective heating or ventilation systems or systems for collective supply of hot water,
  • to define content and use of energy certificates based on energy demand and metered energy as well as
  • to set up general requirements on the control of energy certificates and inspection reports.

Download "Forth Law amending the Energy Saving Act" (EnEG):

Former versions of the German Energy Saving Act are available in the archive

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