Electricity price brake: Habeck wants special rules for heat pumps

Status: 11/16/2022 2:52 p.m

Anyone who bought a heat pump this year should benefit from a special rule in the electricity price brake. Economics Minister Habeck announced this after a “heat pump summit” with manufacturers and trades.

Some owners of heat pumps can apparently count on a special rule for the electricity price brake. Economics Minister Robert Habeck announced after a “heat pump summit” in Berlin that pumps that were installed this year should be given special consideration.

The reason for this is the greater power requirement of heat pumps. Although their owners save on energy sources such as gas when heating, they consume more electricity. With the electricity price brake, which is expected to come into force from January, 80 percent of the electricity consumption of private households is to be reduced. The electricity consumption from the previous year should serve as the basis for calculation.

According to the Federal Association of Heat Pumps, many new heat pump users fear that they will be disadvantaged because they consumed less electricity last year. “Then you would be punished according to logic for the behavior that is actually politically desired – namely away from fossil energies,” said Habeck. Therefore there will be a special rule that takes this into account.

The number of heat pumps is set to rise sharply

Germany has the goal of installing half a million new heat pumps per year from 2024 in order to become more climate-friendly and independent of gas imports for heating. The technology is still comparatively expensive, but it is worth it in the long term, said Habeck. In addition, the state is promoting the conversion “generously”.

Interested parties are currently waiting between half a year and up to a whole year for their heat pump to be installed, said Martin Sabel from the Federal Heat Pump Association. There is a lack of skilled workers for the installation and also of the devices themselves.

Manufacturers see a big market

Industry and trade assured after the meeting with Habeck that the target could be achieved. The heat pump manufacturers want to make the goal of 500,000 devices per year “feasible,” said Jan Brockmann, board member of the Federal Association of the German Heating Industry and head of Bosch Thermotechnology. Germany could become the largest heat pump market in Europe – the industry is investing millions accordingly.

Habeck was optimistic that the shortage of skilled workers would also subside: the number of craft businesses that can install heat pumps “is now growing steadily,” he said. Education and training programs have started, and other sectors, such as chimney sweeps, are also helping. This is possible “with minor training measures”, said heat pump association boss Sabel.

There are currently around 1.4 million heat pumps in Germany, and by 2030 there will be six million. For comparison: there are currently around 14 million gas heaters in Germany.

Heat pump summit: What speaks for you, where are the obstacles

Hans-Joachim Vieweger, ARD Berlin, 16.11.2022 3:31 p.m

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