The Federal Minister of Economics, the Federal Minister of Building and the Federal Minister of Justice in Germany agreed on a fair sharing of the CO2 costs between landlords and tenants for both residential and non-residential buildings.

Since 2021, a price has been charged for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in Germany. A price of 30 euros per tonne of CO2 emitted when heating and fuel is burned currently applies. It will gradually increase to up to 55 euros in 2025.

In the building sector, the CO2 price is intended to motivate landlords to promote energy-efficient renovation of their buildings and tenants to use energy sparingly. Landlords can currently pass the additional costs for the CO2 price on to their tenants in full. As a result, the CO2 price has not yet had the desired steering effect on climate policy. The federal government now wants to remedy this with the new allocation according to a tiered model for residential buildings.

 Residential building/mixed use:

The CO2 costs produced will in future be shared proportionately according to the areas of responsibility and thus fairly between tenants and landlords. The worse the energy balance of the building in question, the higher the share of costs that the landlord has to bear. The percentage of cost sharing by landlords and tenants is linked to the annual CO2 emissions of the rented building per m2.

These 10 levels of the tiered model enable a precise calculation:

  • For apartments with a particularly poor energy balance (>=52 kg CO2/m2/a), the landlords bear 90 percent and the tenants, ten percent of the CO2 costs. However, if the building meets at least the very efficient standard (EH 55), landlords no longer have to bear CO2 costs. There may be exceptions if landlords, for example in listed buildings or in milieu protection areas, are unable to contribute to energy-related refurbishment.
  • The model applies to all residential buildings, including residential, old people’s and nursing homes and buildings with mixed use, in which fuels that fall under the Fuel Emissions Trading Act (BEHG) are used.
  • The CO2 costs to be borne by the parties per residential unit are determined via the heating bill.
  • With the fuel bill, landlords are provided with all the data required for the calculation, so that they can easily determine the distribution of the CO2 costs.

Non-residential buildings:

For non-residential buildings such as commercial premises, the 50:50 split applies, which was already specified as an option in the coalition agreement. The rental parties can, if they come to an agreement, agree on compensation, for example over the rental costs.

In the future, the tiered model should also be applied to non-residential buildings. Due to the heterogeneity of these (e.g. size, types of use, consumption), the necessary data basis is still not able to carry out a valid calculation of the classifications for non-residential buildings. However, the data should be made available in the next two to three years.

The aim is that the regulation comes into force on 1.1.2023. An evaluation clause will be included in the law, which provides for an evaluation and examination of the question of whether a changeover to a model based on energy certificates is possible in the meantime – due to a reform of the energy certificate.