Almost 90 % of people in Germany consider climate action to be important or very important. A vast majority are also in favour of energy-related building upgrades to help protect our climate. Yet tenants’ approval is tied up with a very big “but”: they don’t want rents to rise significantly as a result. Homeowners and landlords also have reservations about the energy-related refurbishment required.
These include high investment costs, as energy-related upgrades to existing buildings are expensive. Homeowners and private landlords often don’t have the capital required. Landlords incur additional costs through delays to building work caused by objections from tenants or lengthy planning approval processes.
To return to tenants, they fear energy-related upgrades as they worry they will no longer be able to afford their own homes as a result of rising rent costs. This conflict between climate action and higher rent is clear from the figures. According to a survey, 87 % of respondents did not want to spend any more than EUR 50 extra per month to live in an energy-efficient home that helps meet climate targets.
However, Germany will only reach its climate targets by 2050 if the rate of refurbishment in Germany rises to 2.5 % from the current level of 1 %. Just as a reminder: around one-third of CO2 emissions are produced by the housing sector.
Resolving this conflict requires a refurbishment offensive that’s socially responsible. We have set out a concept that seeks to use income from national emissions trading.