Geywitz wants to postpone the tightening of new building standards

By Andreas Kissler

BERLIN (Dow Jones) — Federal Building Minister Klara Geywitz (SPD) wants to overturn the tightening of energy standards for new buildings agreed in the traffic light coalition agreement, according to statements on the RTL / ntv broadcaster. In the program “Frühstart” she spoke out in favor of not prescribing the EH-40 efficiency level as agreed on January 1, 2025, as RTL announced. “From my point of view, the situation is not such that the building prices and building applications, which have fallen sharply, should not be tightened further,” said Geywitz. She referred to the situation in the construction industry and the acute housing shortage.

When asked, Geywitz did not want to promise that the federal government would achieve its goal of 400,000 new apartments per year in 2024 or 2025. At the moment, interest rates are very high and you have to look into the crystal ball to predict how interest rates will develop, according to the SPD politician. “Of course, in a situation where Germany has very, very low growth, it is not realistic that we have growth of 33 percent in the construction industry.” Roughly this increase would be necessary to reach 400,000 apartments per year. Geywitz emphasized that their primary goal is to get back on the growth path.

Geywitz rejected the proposal by Green party leader Ricarda Lang to promote housing construction through public investment companies. This is a “secret way” past the debt brake. “We as the federal government shouldn’t give the impression that we don’t take the debt brake seriously.” Geywitz said “several times that she doesn’t think much of introducing the EU 40 standard on January 1, 2025 because it also increases construction costs again,” the spokeswoman for the Ministry of Construction confirmed at a press conference. All in all, you have to ask “whether insulation is the panacea”. Geywitz tends to look at the house as a whole and evaluate it according to the life cycle costs.

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 21, 2023 07:15 ET (11:15 GMT)