To build or to renovate climate-friendly: how to find the right promotion?

Mehrere aufsteigende Münzstapel nebeneinander, auf denen eine kleine Pflanze wächst, neben einer leuchtenden Glühbirne, die in die Erde gesteckt ist vor einem grünen Hintergrund

After a long low-interest period, the credit interests increase again to such an extent that a new building or renovation is more-cost-extensive. Fortunately, there are regional and national differences within all subsidy programmes, in particular with emphasis on "energy efficiency". As numerous the programmes, as varied the conditions. Often there are already differences in the run-up of the building project - for example the involvement of an energy consultant and the right sequence from the application till the commissioning of craftsmen. Here we offer a clear overall view of the range of subsidy programmes and show three important programmes for private owners.

1. Which national subsidies are there for new building or for renovation?

Private homeowners can receive different financial incentives. Depending on the specific subsidy programme they become a grant or a credit loan with low interests. Sometimes there are also credits with repayment bonus, so that the credit amount needs not to be paid back fully.

KFN- new subsidy program for new buildings

In March 2023 the new subsidy program "Climate-friendly Building" (German abbreviation KFN) for which the Federal Ministry of Construction puts a sum of 750 million Euros at disposal. It supports climate-friendly building in the form of low-interest credits for new buildings and also first purchase. There are different conditions within the program: the building must fulfill the energetic standard of an energy-efficient house of level 40. For houses with the "Quality Seal Sustainable Building" (German abbreviation QNG) a higher credit amount of up to 150,000 Euros is available on the top.

BEG for individual measures

If energy-efficient renovation is on the agenda, you can benefit from the federal subsidies for Energy-efficient Buildings (German abbreviation: BEG). In addition to a complete renovation, individual measures are also supported - provided that they permanently improve the energy efficiency of buildings. For example, the roof or the facade can be newly insulated and a heat pump or solar system can be installed. In addition, subsidies are available for technical planning and construction supervision by energy efficiency experts. We have summarized the extent of the different fundings for existing buildings under point 2.

BEG Loan 261 - Renovation in line with energy-efficient house

The persons who comprehensively refurbish their house to make it more energy efficient can take advantage of the promotional loan of the incentive programme "BEG Residential Buildings - Loan 261". A sum of maximum 150,000 euros per housing unit is granted. Here, there is one particular feature: a repayment bonus of up to 45 percent is also possible. The prerequisite for the pre-said loan is that the renovation measures must achieve at least the efficiency house level of 85.

2. Which renovation measures are now particularly worthwhile?

The funding rates depend on the specific measure. Here an overview of the highest promotions, which the Federal Subsidy for Energy-efficient Buildings (BEG) offer:

  • Technical planning and building supervision: 50% of eligible expenditure, up to 5,000 euros for detached and semi-detached houses.
  • Heat pump: up to 40%
  • Connection to a heating network: up to 40%
  • Solar collector system or fuel cell heating: up to 35%
  • Connection to a building network: up to 35%
  • Innovative heating technology based on renewable energies: up to 35%

Despite all the subsidies for modern heating systems, it should be noted: heating systems based on renewable energy, such as heat pumps, only function efficiently in the so-called low-temperature range. For this, the building envelope must be sufficiently insulated. Otherwise, heating heat is lost via the exterior walls and the roof. As a result, the heat pump can only heat the rooms by using a lot of electricity. That would be anything but energy-efficient. So before investing in heating technology, the facade should always be insulated.

3. What are the changes of the incentives in 2023?

Good to know: since the beginning of 2023, every new building must meet the efficiency standard of level 55. In addition, new funding guidelines for the Federal Funding for Efficient Buildings (BEG) have been in effect since 1 January 2023, which affect, among other things, the installation of eco-friendly heating systems. The technical requirements for heat pumps have increased, and at the same time the funding conditions for wood and pellet heating systems have worsened. Gas heating systems are no longer considered for tax deductions.

4. Where can I apply which subsidy for?

It depends on the respective fund where private homeowners apply for nationwide subsidies.

  • Grants from the BEG are awarded by the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA). The grants can be applied for directly via their website.
  • For BEG promotional loans the application must be submitted to the Federal Promotional Bank KfW.
  • KfW is also responsible for funds of the promotional programme "Climate-friendly New Construction".

Detailed information on the individual subsidies is available here:

5. Conclusion: subsidies are worthwhile

Sufficient subsidies and favourable loans for energy-saving construction and renovation, in some cases even with a repayment bonus, save building owners a lot of money. Although the funding landscape is somewhat confusing, it is definitely worthwhile to inform yourself in advance and apply for the relevant funding.

In addition, if you renovate your home to make it more energy efficient, you will significantly reduce its energy requirements. This permanently reduces costs and contributes to climate change. Manufacturers like Saint-Gobain Weber are continuously developing suitable system solutions in order to provide effective support for renovation, such as non-combustible and recently also recyclable external thermal insulation composite systems. After all, the climate turnaround can only succeed if all parties involved make their contribution.

Professional tip for craftsman

Many private builders hesitate how to find and apply for a subsidy. Accordingly, they are grateful for tips from professional craftsmen who enjoy a high degree of credibility on this topic. You can care for satisfied customers and a high recommendation rate by giving your customers the following tips:

  1. Customers should first check whether energy consultants are to be involved in their desired subsidy; if so, many are grateful for a recommendation.
  2. If you apply for a subsidy, it is essential that you follow the correct sequence. The procedure can differ depending on the funding programme. As a rule, the application for funding must be submitted first. Only afterwards a specialized company can be commissioned. In addition, customers must also pay attention to the prescribed deadlines for the implementation of the building project so as not to jeopardize the funding.