Environment

Germany to spend 6 billion euros to boost housing energy efficiency

2 minute read

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier holds a news conference to present the government's economic autumn projection, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Berlin, Germany October 30, 2020. REUTERS/Michele Tantussi/Pool

BERLIN, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Germany is supporting steps to increase energy efficiency in buildings, with subsidies and incentives worth 6 billion euros ($7.2 billion) this year, the economy minister said on Monday.

The measures supported by the federal government include programmes to modernise existing buildings with better insulation and more efficient heating systems, Peter Altmaier said.

"The building sector is an important factor if we want to make the energy transition a success," he told an online conference organised by the economy ministry.

The push should help the housing sector in Europe's most populous country move towards its goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2050, and with it enable Germany to reach its wider climate protection targets over the next three decades.

The modernisation drive could, however, increase the cost of living for Germans as, by law, landlords can pass on the cost of investments by raising rents.

Parties in Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government are currently quarrelling about whether to protect tenants from massive rent hikes by forcing landlords to shoulder a certain portion of modernisation investments.

($1 = 0.8318 euros)

Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Pravin Char

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