Private households in Germany barely saved any heating energy last year - analysis

(Clean Energy Wire, 9 Oct 2023) Few households in Germany turned down their heating last year to save energy, despite warnings of a supply crisis and sharply rising prices, according to an analysis by non-profit consultancy co2online.

Adjusted for mild winter temperatures, households cut heating energy use by a mere 1.4 percent, the organisation said after analysing consumption patterns in 4,000 residential buildings. “In unrenovated buildings, no savings could be achieved at all,” co2online said. Households with gas heating, which were particularly affected by sharp price increases, saved an above-average of 3.5 percent heating energy. "The deeper data analysis shows that savings appeals alone are not enough," says managing director Tanja Loitz. Overall, heating energy consumption went down 10.6 percent in German households last year, but this was largely due to a relatively warm winter, co2online said.

In the summer of 2022, Germany’s grid agency issued a gas consumption savings target of 20 percent for the whole country following the end of Russian gas supplies to Germany, which were stopped in the early phase of Russia’s attack on Ukraine. The government also launched a campaign urging citizens to save energy. Yet, without knowledge about actual consumption and possible savings potential, there is no concrete incentive to start saving, co2online said, adding that consumers should be “actively advised and accompanied, and need feedback on savings.” 

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Clean Energy Wire, 9 Oct 2023: Private households in Germany barely saved any heating energy last year - analysis