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Federal Government has ordered energy-saving measures at short notice

Ordinance dated August 24, 2022 in force from September 1, 2022 onwards

With the enclosed ordinance (EnSikuMaV/German Language Version) of 24 August 2022, the Federal Government has ordered energy-saving measures in the building sector to be implemented at short notice and for a limited period of time.

  • These mandatory energy-saving measures apply to residential buildings, workplaces and rooms as well as public buildings.
  • The ordinance will come into force on 1 September 2022 and is scheduled to expire on 28 February 2023.
  • Violations are subject to fines of up to EUR 100,000, and persistent violators may even face up to two years' imprisonment or a fine

Accordingly, the following rules apply from September 1, 2022 onwards:

Shop doors and entrance systems in retail trade

Retailers are not allowed to keep shop doors and entrance systems permanently open in heated business premises, if opening them causes a loss of heat. This applies unless keeping them open is necessary for the function of the entrance or exit as an escape route.

Illuminated advertising systems

Illuminated or light-emitting advertising installations may not be operated from 10 p.m. to 4 p.m. of the respective following day. An exception applies if the lighting is necessary to maintain traffic safety or to avert other dangers, insofar as it cannot be replaced by other measures in the short term. The lighting ban applies in principle irrespective of the opening hours of the respective establishment.

Air temperature in workrooms in workplaces

In principle, the Ordinance does not distinguish whether an employer is organised under public or private law, but whether the workrooms are located in public buildings or not.

For employers outside public buildings, there are initially no obligations to reduce the temperature across the board. The various temperature values that the ordinance stipulates as maximum values in § 6 for workrooms in public buildings, such as public authorities, are to apply here only as minimum temperature values.

Thus, a deviation from the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Directive is possible within the respective framework. The specific temperatures depend on the type and severity of the work and can be found in the ordinance.

For example, a temperature reduction to 19 degrees Celsius is possible for physically light and predominantly sedentary work.

Hot water

Decentralised drinking water heating systems, especially instantaneous water heaters or decentralised hot water storage tanks, must be switched off if they are to be used mainly for washing hands. The devices may be switched off for a limited period of time or not at all if the operation of the systems is necessary for hygienic reasons according to the generally recognised rules of technology.

Information obligations for suppliers and owners of residential buildings

Gas and heat suppliers who supply owners of residential buildings or condominiums or users of residential units as end customers with piped gas or heat must provide these end consumers with various specific information by 30 September.

This concerns, for example, the energy consumption and the energy costs of the building or the residential unit in the last billing period, the amount of the expected energy costs of a comparable billing period as well as the calculated savings potential of the building or the residential unit under the assumption that a savings of six percent can be expected with a continuous reduction of the average room temperature by 1 degree. Different obligations apply to owners of residential buildings, depending on the number of residential units (cf. § 9 Ordinance).

Further measures and details can be found in the attached ordinance (German language version).

Björn Christian Gerow       
Fachberater IStR




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