Heating costs: GroKo relieves 23 million tenants of the CO₂ price

Renters will soon only pay 50 percent of the new CO₂ tax for heating costs. That emerges from a concept paper that SPIEGEL has at its disposal. Around 23 million households in Germany are affected by this decision.

Since the beginning of the year, a fee of 25 euros per tonne of carbon dioxide emitted has been due. As a result, a liter of heating oil rises by around eight cents and a kilowatt hour of natural gas by 0,6 cents. According to the current legal situation, CO₂ costs are part of the price of heating costs and can be passed on to tenants by landlords without restriction. After long negotiations, the grand coalition has now agreed to create a social balance on this point.

The Union had long resisted this approach. According to SPIEGEL information, it was concerned, among other things, with private landlords who have little reserves. From Altmaier's point of view, their willingness to invest threatens to be inhibited by a 50-50 breakdown, so that the bottom line is that less renovation could be done - especially in rural areas, where there are an above-average number of private landlords.

Likewise, false incentives could be set with a flat-rate 50-50 solution without specific renovation projects. One can currently observe that some landlords are installing inexpensive air heat pumps in uninsulated houses instead of renovating the buildings. Ultimately, however, this does not help either the climate or the tenants, whose operating costs would nevertheless increase.

The SPD however, it was considered socially unjust to take all of the CO2-Costs passed on to the tenants. Although they could regulate their own energy consumption, they have little influence on whether their apartment is better insulated or equipped with more modern heating, argue the Social Democrats. If landlords were to share in the costs, there would also be an increased incentive to switch to low-CO₂ technology.

Around a third of greenhouse gas emissions in Germany are attributable to the building sector. By 2030, emissions in this sector will have to fall by around 1990 percent compared to 67 levels to 70 million tonnes in order to comply with the emission levels stipulated in the Climate Protection Act. The building sector is the only one that, according to the Ministry of Environment's balance sheet, has its CO2Goals for 2020 has not complied.