With the beginning of the heating season for citizens, an important topic again becomes the price of energy consumed, primarily natural gas. In Germany, the use of fossil fuels for heating has been declining for years, and they are retreating from renewable energy sources. The latest price increases for gas and oil will surely only accelerate this trend.

Out of a total of slightly less than 113,000 residential buildings built in 2020 in Germany, 39% have gas heating. Gas remained the second most important heating fuel, after heat pumps, the German Federal Bureau of Statistics announced.

However, the trend of using fossil gas for heating in Germany has been declining for years. In 2010, the percentage of new buildings with gas heating was 53%, and in 2000, as much as 74%, according to data from the Bureau of Statistics.

Other fossil fuels used for heating include heating oil and partly electricity, but this is less and less the case.

Thus, new buildings with heating with heating oil are a real rarity, so although in 2000 another fifth (20%) of new buildings used that fuel, in 2020 it accounted for only 0.7% of new buildings.

In the overall picture, however, oil still has a significant share, as it is used to heat almost a quarter of the housing stock.

However, renewable energies are gaining in importance. In 2020, heat pumps, which transmit ground or air energy, were the most important primary energy source. For the first time, these pumps are intended for heating in more than half (50.5%) of new residential buildings.

The decline in the popularity of gas and oil is largely influenced by their sharp rise in prices. The rise in prices is influenced, among other things, by the ever-increasing tax on carbon dioxide emissions, but also by the numerous effects of the corona, among which is the relatively rapid recovery of the economy and the ever-increasing global demand for energy.

In Germany, the import price of natural gas in August this year was 177.5% higher than in the same month in 2020. In the same month, oil was 63.6% more expensive than a year earlier, and electricity, which is also used to a lesser extent for heating, by as much as 136.1%.

Commercial sales prices have not increased to that extent and there are significant differences depending on the category of consumers.

For end consumers, the rise in prices was not noticeable to that extent, except for heating oil, which in September 2021 was 76.5% more expensive than a year earlier. In that period, natural gas increased in price by 5.7% and electricity by 2%.

The Bureau of Statistics explains this big difference by the fact that on the market of energy for gas and electricity, long-term contracts with suppliers are usually valid and that prices are usually adjusted once a year, while heating oil is sold at the price valid at that time.

In 2019, the Germans allocated an average of 150 euros per month for household energy consumption, ie for electricity, gas and heating oil, which is 5.8% of household consumption. The largest part, 46%, was electricity expenditure, ie an average of 70 euros per month.

E2 portal (Euractiv)

Source: E2 Portal by

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