Indicator: Energy consumption for buildings

A graph shows the building-related final energy consumption for room heating, room cooling, hot water and lighting for 2008 to 2022. The indicator decreases with fluctuation. No differentiation is shown between the individual uses.Click to enlarge
Building-related final energy consumption for room heating, room cooling, hot water and lighting
Source: Working Group on Energy Balances Figure as PDF

Table of Contents


At a glance

  • Final energy⁠ consumption associated with buildings decreased by 15.2 % between 2008 and 2022.
  • However, according to the 2010 Energy Concept, the heat demand of buildings should have decreased by 20 % between 2008 and 2020. In fact, consumption fell by only 10.9 %.
  • Due to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and the subsequent efforts to save energy in Germany, final energy consumption in buildings fell by 7.8 % compared to the previous year.

Environmental importance

In 2021, 27.6 % of the total final energy consumption in Germany went into heating in buildings. In addition, nearly 5.1 % were used to heat water. By comparison: Consumption of heat in buildings was therefore around 32.8 % higher than in the consumption sector transport, which accounts for around 29.5 % of total final energy consumption. In order to achieve a successful energy transition (‘Energiewende’) we need a heat transition with a radically new approach to heating (‘Wärmewende’).

The indicator is based on one of the quantitative targets of the energy transition programme. It includes consumption for heating and cooling rooms as well as for hot water. For non-residential buildings, permanent lighting is included as well, in line with energy-saving legislation.


Assessing the development

The ⁠building-related final energy⁠ consumption fell by around 15.2 % to 3.023 petajoules between 2008 and 2021. This is equivalent to 35.5 % of the final energy consumption in Germany. Although over the years in question, residential and effective space have increased, energy consumption for room heating decreased. This is mainly the result of higher energy efficiency standards for new buildings and refurbished old buildings. Variation throughout the years is mainly due to differences in weather conditions over the years. The significant reduction in consumption of 7.8 % compared to the previous year is primarily due to efforts to save energy as a consequence of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.

In its 2010 Energy Concept, the Federal Government set the target of reducing heat requirements in buildings, defined as final energy consumption for heat, by 20 % by 2020 (BMWi, BMU 2010). The target was not achieved. Consumption fell by only 10.9 %.



The data required for the calculation of the indicator were provided by Working Group on Energy Balances (AGEB). Within the context of research projects, consumption balances are calculated that reproduce the consumption of final energy in various uses (e.g. heating, mechanical energy etc.). The methodology used has been described in various documents. Figures are taken from the ‘Anwendungsbilanzen’ (AGEB 2023, in German only).

More detailed information: 'Energieverbrauch für fossile und erneuerbare Wärme' (in German only).