Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck has spoken out in favor of taxing state subsidies for switching to climate-friendly heating systems. In an interview with Deutschlandfunk on Sunday, the vice chancellor supported a Greens proposal to increase funding to 80 percent of the costs, which would then have to be taxed. “Some who don’t pay taxes have 80 percent funding, those who pay taxes only 40 and then pay part back,” said Habeck. “It may be moderately more expensive, but not dramatically more expensive.”

Such a proposal failed in the government consultations at the FDP-led Ministry of Finance. “If Parliament succeeds in making progress, I can only welcome it. Because I would find it fairer,” said the Green politician.

After the federal cabinet – subject to the reservation of Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) – passed the bill for the heating renovation, the parliamentary groups of SPD, Greens and FDP are now discussing the implementation. The SPD and the Greens are calling for greater social staggering of funding. According to the plans, with a few exceptions, new heating systems must be operated with at least 65 percent renewable energy from next year.

According to calculations by the German Association of Towns and Municipalities, the Building Energy Act will cost local authorities at least eight billion euros. A total of 135,000 municipal buildings would have to be equipped with a new heating system by 2045; In order to meet the requirements, there would be additional costs per system of 60,000 euros, the association said when asked by the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung”.

In order to be able to do this, the municipalities and the municipal housing industry would have to be “comprehensively and long-term financially supported,” said the general manager of the association of cities and municipalities, Gerd Landsberg, the newspaper. He criticized that the municipalities have so far been excluded from the subsidies that Economics Minister Habeck has promised.

According to the newspaper report, the majority of the approximately 180,000 municipal administration buildings, schools, hospitals or sports halls are still heated with oil or gas. In four out of ten new buildings, fossil fuel-powered heating systems are still being installed, which is to be banned from 2024.