Federal ministries: No role model for the energy transition


Building of the Federal Ministry for the Environment and Nature Conservation in Berlin. © BMUV/ Florian Profitable

A decision by the German federal government stipulates that federal buildings should be particularly energy-efficient and sustainable. But apparently at least the ministries are not fully meeting this goal, as a study by the German Environmental Aid now shows. Accordingly, only three of the 15 federal ministries are in a good energy condition. In addition, most buildings are still primarily heated with fossil fuels.

The federal government is one of the largest building owners in Germany. He has more than 4,500 civilian and military properties and about 40,000 apartments. All in all, this results in a total area of ​​around 50 million square meters. In order to give its own climate goals more credibility, the federal government has committed itself to retrofitting all these buildings so that they become role models in terms of energy efficiency and climate protection. Because in this respect, the building sector in Germany is still far behind the climate targets.

Only three ministries are energy efficient

But apparently the federal government is only partially living up to the goal it has set itself, as a study by the German Environmental Aid (DUH) now shows. For its climate check, the environmental and consumer protection organization took a look at the needs certificates of the federal ministries. A requirement certificate indicates the energy requirement of a building, based on properties such as year of construction, living space and the type of heating used. This energy certificate is mandatory for residential buildings, but not yet for offices. According to the German Environmental Aid, six of the 15 ministries have not issued their requirement ID, including the Ministry of Economics and Finance. The status of their energy efficiency is therefore not known at this time.

However, as far as the remaining nine ministries are concerned, the German Environmental Aid draws a rather sobering conclusion. Overall, only three federal ministries are in good energy condition: the environment, agriculture and education ministries. Their primary energy requirement is less than 70 kilowatt hours per square meter and thus achieves energy efficiency class B. The energy requirements of the other ministries that have made their requirement certificate available are twice as high and correspond to class E. However, three of them are planning to change this , whereby the Ministry of Health is already in the process of being rehabilitated.

Fossil fuels in all ministries

In addition to low energy efficiency, there are also shortcomings in sustainability. Because all 15 Berlin ministry buildings are heated with fossil fuels, as reported by the German Environmental Aid. Their climate check shows that 64 percent natural gas and 17 percent district heating are used. In Berlin, the latter consists mainly of natural gas and hard coal. Even the Ministry of Education, which mainly heats with renewable energies, switches on the gas heating when needed, according to environmental aid.

Barbara Metz, Federal Managing Director of the German Environmental Aid, criticizes: “The federal government has a lot of catching up to do in its ministries, both in terms of sustainable heat supply and energy-related refurbishment. Refurbishment plans for all public buildings must now be presented and implemented immediately - not just for the offices of the ministers, but for all public buildings such as schools, daycare centers or care facilities and makes the heat supply of all public buildings visible to everyone.

Source: Deutsche Umwelthilfe eV, Ministry check

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