Homeowners will enjoy living in a sustainable home that helps to lower their carbon footprint with each passing year.
Energy-efficient homes are only likely to rise in desirability in the coming years.
Benefit from lower ongoing utility costs with little or no requirement to use traditional heating systems.
Energy-efficient home building has been encouraged in Germany for some time. This affects both self-builders and property developers with the various loans, tax breaks, and grant schemes available in the country. As such, sustainable apartment building is quite common, so anyone wanting to purchase an eco-friendly apartment can do so by choosing the right development. This makes eco-friendly new-build apartments particularly attractive for first-time homebuyers.
The system for energy-efficient construction in Germany rates homes according to how much energy they'll need to draw upon from external sources. A so-called 55 house is named as such because it will never need than 55 percent of its energy to be drawn from the grid compared to a reference – or standard – home. A 40 house, on the other hand, will never need more than 40 per cent of its energy needs to be catered for externally. Passive building designs try to get this figure as low as possible and 40 plus house designs are increasingly common nowadays. In short, a 40 house is more energy-efficient than a 55 house.
In Germany, the various funding streams for loans and grants designed to encourage greater energy efficiency in new homes was rationalised in 2021. Now, the Kreditförderung (KfW) takes care of nearly all residential projects. Starting from July, houses that meet the KfW energy-efficient standards described above can receive up to 50% of funding for new-build designs, modernisation efforts, and renovations of exisitng residential units. KfW loans and grants of up to €37,500 are possible for 40 plus house designs. A 55 house design could mean KfW loans of up to €26,250 are available. Overall, the maximum amount of eligible costs to be covered will be increased from €120,000 to €150,000 per house. To learn more about how to apply for this grant, please visit the KfW website (German only).
If you are seeking an eco-friendly apartment to buy, then find one that is part of a sustainable development where the entire building's design uses sustainable materials and energy saving technologies. Party walls as well as external walls should be well insulated, for example. Doors should close automatically to keep warm air trapped inside and some green energy generation, such as solar panels, should be included in the development, as well.
Retro-fitting energy-efficient measures in existing homes is encouraged in Germany, too. Homeowners who want to upgrade their property are able to deduct 20% of the costs of approved technologies, such as improved windows and external doors, from their personal tax liability to make a more sustainable home to live in.