The Association of Municipal Enterprises (VKU) is proposing an obligation for households to connect to heating networks as part of the heat transition. According to Ingbert Liebing, general manager of the VKU, this obligation is not unreasonable and could save the municipal utilities the laborious work of persuasion in some areas. Liebing also suggests that if the municipal planning provides for heating networks, subsidies for other types of heating should be canceled.
The expansion of heating networks largely depends on how many buildings can be connected to a street, as the construction costs can be high. An obligation to connect could help utilities to better calculate future needs. The heating networks also have the potential to benefit from renewable energies, decarbonizing the heating area, and eliminating individual heating worries. However, around 70 percent of the energy in district heating networks still comes from fossil fuels, according to the energy efficiency association for heating, cooling and CHP (AGFW).
Despite this, the VKU is optimistic that all existing district heating networks can become climate-neutral by 2045, and a tripling of heating network connections by 2050 is possible in Germany. As changes are still being made to the Building Energy Act (GEG), Liebing advises households to wait before converting their heating systems. However, if they are in a hurry, they can inquire about district heating as an option.