Read more: Competitive funding programme ‘Energy efficiency and process-heating from renewable energies in business – competition’ (2019 factsheet)

Data: Current and projected (as of 2020)

Changes in the 2021-2030 period (compared to the 2014-2020 period)

For the fulfilment of the savings target pursuant to Article 7(1) EED, Germany opts to implement alternative strategic measures in accordance with Article 7b EED. This applies for both obligation periods, i.e. 2014-2020 as well as 2021-2030.

In the period 2014-2020, a mix of regulatory, economic and fiscal instruments was reported by Germany to fulfil the energy savings target, supplemented by some information programmes[1]:

  • Funding programmes for residential and non-residential buildings and industry.
  • The Energy Savings Regulation for new and existing buildings and heat from renewable energies.
  • The energy and electricity tax, which accounted for the highest share in energy savings.
  • Several advisory service programs for companies and private households as well as the Energy Efficiency Network Initiative for companies.

For the period 2021-2030, the reported mix of investment incentives, standards, pricing instruments as well as consultation and information programmes has not change significantly. However, the contribution of tax measures to total final energy savings increased due to the new CO2 pricing for the transport and heating sectors (Brennstoffemissionshandelsgesetz – BEHG) in Germany from 2021 onwards. This new instrument now accounts for the highest share in energy savings, followed by the energy and electricity tax.  Another new measure reported for the 2021-2030 period were the tax incentives for energy-related building renovations used for own residential purposes, which also contributes with a relatively high share to total savings. Since Germany did not submit the new draft NECP in 2023 (as of end of October 2023), these statements are still based on the first final NECP of Germany, submitted in June 2020[2].

Some measures that have been adapted and subsequently notified compared to the original Article 7 notification in the German NECP in the course of 2021, due to the change of key framework data. These changes mainly concerned the main funding programmes for buildings and industry and the energy efficiency networks, which were extended by climate actions[3].

In 2022 and 2023, further energy and climate policies have been already implemented or proposed by the Federal Government, which are documented in a draft new Climate Action Programme from June 2023[4]. Some of these measures also have an impact on energy efficiency and energy savings and may possibly also be reported in the – still outstanding – draft NECP 2023 (and were partly already reported in the German Project Report 2023 on the projected development of greenhouse gas emissions until 2050 in accordance with Article 18 of Regulation (EU) 2018/1999). Among those are:

  • Some requirements in the new German Energy Efficiency Law (EnEfG), which go beyond the requirements in the 2023 recast of the Energy Efficiency Directive.
  • A new funding programme for the decarbonisation of industry, supplemented by the new carbon contracts for difference.
  • ´The new “DeutschlandTicket”, which is a subscription ticket for all means of local public transport all over Germany at a price of 49 EUR per month.


[1] Based on the 2020 annual report in accordance with Article 24(1) of the EED of Germany, which is the last one published (


[3] These changes are documented in Fraunhofer ISI, Prognos (2023): Harmonisiertes Monitoring von Energieeinsparungen deutscher Effizienzmaßnahmen sowie kontinuierliche Prüfung/Aktualisierung der prognostizierten Einsparziele der Maßnahmen für das Jahr 2030 (BfEE 16/2017). April 2023. (report only available in German language).

[4] Entwurf eines Klimaschutzprogramms 2023 der Bundesregierung. Status as of 21 June 2023.

Source: NEEAP (2017)

Energy and electricity tax

Energy Saving Regulation (for existing buildings)

Funding of corporate investments

KfW Funding Programme for Energy-Efficient Construction and Renovation (CO2 Building Renovation Programme)*

Energy Saving Regulation (for new buildings)

Air traffic tax

Emissions trading

Federal Government energy advice programmes

Renewable Energies Heat Act

Market incentive programme for the promotion of the use of renewable energies in the heating market (Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control portion)

* incl, the increase in funding to cover the expansion to include non-residential buildings notified under measure M21.

Source: policy measures with energy savings reported for 2021 in the NECPR (National Energy and Climate Progress Report) 2023

Investment incentives:

Federal Funding Programme for efficient buildings

Federal program for energy and resource efficiency in the economy – grant, loan and grant competition

Tax incentives for energy-related building renovations

Funding of serial renovation work

Federal Programme for funding for measures for increasing energy efficiency in agriculture and horticulture

Funding for procuring electric buses in local public transport

Programme sections ‘Exterior lighting, interior lighting, ventilation and air-conditioning systems’ of the funding for climate protection projects in the local area ‘Local guideline’.

Funding for energy-efficient refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment with non-halogenated refrigerants in stationary and vehicle applications

Introduction of low-carbon heavy goods vehicles to the roads

Pricing instruments:

Energy and electricity tax

CO2 pricing for the transport and heating sectors

Air transport tax

Heavy goods vehicle toll

Make rail travel cheaper

Consultation and information programmes:

Energy Counselling for households and SMEs

National efficiency label for old heating installations

Electricity saving check (for low-income households)

Energy Efficiency and Climate Protection Networks Initiative

Energy management systems (EnMS)

SME initiative for energy transition and climate action (MIE)

Climate-neutral federal administration (including the introduction of environmental management system)


§45 of the Buildings Energy Act [Gebäudeenergiegesetz, GEG]

Buildings Energy Act (GEG) for existing buildings

Energy efficiency measures are regularly monitored and evaluated by independent external appraisers, institutes and committees in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Budget Code (§7(2) BHO) and based on the quality standards of the German Evaluation Society (DeGEval). The Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) has developed in collaboration with external institutes a methodological guide that must be taken into account by evaluators for the assessment of energy efficiency measures. The guide offers a uniform methodology for the accompanying and ex-post evaluation of energy efficiency policy measures and also includes guidelines for the specific requirements of the reporting on energy savings under Article 7 EED[1]. For the ex-ante assessment of energy and CO2 savings, this methodological guideline on ex-post evaluations was supplemented by a guideline on ex-ante evaluations of energy and climate policies[2].

The Federal Office for Energy Efficiency (BfEE), within the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA), has set up a monitoring and verification system. Using a structured monitoring template, information about the savings achieved by the alternative measures pursuant to Article 7b EED is collected by the parties responsible for the measures. The completeness and consistency of the data are verified in a subsequent plausibility check. More details on the monitoring and verification system established in Germany for the national and EU reporting on energy efficiency measures are described in the final German NECP from 2020 (p. 226/227) as well as in Fraunhofer ISI/Prognos (2023).

[1] Fraunhofer ISI, ifeu; Prognos; SUER (2020): Methodikleitfaden für Evaluationen von Energieeffizienzmaßnahmen des BMWi. Karlsruhe, Heidelberg, Basel, Würzburg. (only available in German language).

[2] Fraunhofer ISI, Prognos, Öko-Institut (2022): Methodikpapier zur ex-ante Abschätzung der Energie- und THG Minderungswirkung von energie- und klimaschutzpolitischen Maßnahmen. Juli 2022. (only available in German language).

The last available German NECP from 2020 does not include a specific energy poverty plan and related targets. However, two specific Article 7 measures address energy poverty: (1) Measure M23 electricity-saving check: Advice about saving electricity and fuels and energy-saving items for free to low-income households (e.g. LED lights and switchable multiple socket strips). (2) Measure M21 energy consultancy: all offers of consumer advice centres are provided for free to low-income households. Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband e. V. (VZBV) offers various types of energy consultancy such as online and telephone consultancy as well as personal advice (e.g. ‘Energy Checks’ including basic check, building check, heating and solar heat check, detailed check and the suitability check for the use of solar thermal or photovoltaic energy).

Moreover, the Federal Government follows a comprehensive approach to fighting poverty within the framework of social legislation, which is explained further in the NECP from 2020 (Chapter 2.4.4.).  One of the main social policy measures in Germany to alleviate poverty with regard to energy, is a housing benefit, which also includes the expenses for heating[1]. In 2023, the main framework of social legislation was changed by replacing the previous unemployment benefit II (so-called ALG II, also known as “Hartz IV”) a citizen’s income (“Bürgergeld”).

In addition, during the energy crisis some short-term financial measures were taken in Germany to mitigate the social impacts of high energy prices. However, most of these measures were directed at all households and partly also at companies, not only at low-income households. One of these measures, the so-called “Energy Price Break” is still ongoing (until end of April 2024).

The new draft Climate Action Programme of the Federal Government from June 2023 also includes a section on measures to shape a socially just transformation. Among those, a social monitoring of climate protection measures is announced, which should take into account the social distribution effects of these measures already during the development of measures and to design  them as socially just as possible. However, the concrete implementation of this social monitoring process is still outstanding. The Federal Climate Change Act from 2019 also includes the requirement that proposals for measures shall also contain scientific estimates of potential economic, social and other environmental impacts. With regard to social impacts, however, this was not provided by the Federal Government for the Climate Action Programme from June 2023. This was also critized by the German Council of Experts on Climate Change, who had to comment on the Federal Government’s Climate Action Programme 2023 based on the Climate Change Act [2].

[1] See SocialWatt fact sheet on Germany


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