Energy efficiency - radiator + thermostat


As from 3 July, the funding for fuel-cell heating systems will be expanded, and small and medium-sized enterprises, contractors and municipalities will be able to apply for it for non-residential buildings. Furthermore, the new funding programme 'Pilot Project Heating Networks 4.0' will as from 1 July 2017 provide new stimuli for overarching innovative concepts for renewables-based local and district heating and cooling systems at the level of city districts and neighbourhoods.

Fuel-cell funding

As from 3 July 2017, those who use fuel-cell heating systems in non-residential buildings will receive public funding. This will make the technology-launch programme for fuel-cell heating systems even more attractive. Funding for the installation of fuel-cell heating systems in private residential buildings was started in August 2016. As from 3 July 2017, small and medium-sized enterprises, contractors and municipalities will also be able to apply for funding for non-residential buildings.

State Secretary Baake said: "We have given a further boost to the technology launch by expanding the grant programme for fuel cells. The new rules for the commercial sector will play an important role in making this highly efficient and forward-looking technology widely available on the market."

The existing attractive funding conditions continue to apply for the extended group of applicants. The funding programme covers stationary fuel-cell heating systems in new and existing residential buildings which have a power output of between 0.25 and 5.0 kW. The level of funding that is provided is based on the installation’s power output. Applications for funding can still be submitted to KfW under its "Energy-efficient construction and modernisation – fuel-cell grant" programme. You can find more information about the funding conditions and the application procedure at: (in German language). Alternatively, you can call the KfW Infocenter on +49 +800 +539 9002 free of charge.

Heating networks 4.0

As from 1 July 2017, systemic funding will for the first time be available for the heating infrastructure in the context of the 'Pilot Project Heating Networks 4.0'. This means that funding will be provided not only for individual technologies and components, but also for whole systems. 4th generation heating networks are characterised by high shares of renewables, efficient use of waste heat and a considerably lower temperature level compared with traditional heating networks. This minimises losses, enhances efficiency and facilitates the transition towards the use of renewable energy in the fields of local and district heating. By combining the use of heat pumps and seasonal large-scale heat accumulators, these systems can create additional flexibility for the electricity market and offer the opportunity of supplying buildings which are hard to insulate with high shares of low-carbon heat.

State Secretary Baake said: "By launching funding for 4th generation heating networks, we are promoting systems that correspond to what we want the future heating infrastucture to look like in the context of the energy transition. In view of the very long investment cycles in this area, this is particularly important when it comes to reaching our 2050 energy-policy targets."

The measure serves to implement the Energy Efficiency Strategy for Buildings (ESG), and in particular the "renewable energies in low-temperature heating networks" showcase in the context of this strategy. Funding will be provided in two steps: first, for feasibility studies (a maximum of 60 percent), and second, for the realisation of a 4th generation heating networks system (a maximum of 50 percent of the eligible project costs). Applications can be submitted to the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA). Additional information will be available soon at:

You can find out more about current German energy policy in the fortnightly Newsletter "Energiewende direkt" (in German language).