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 2018. 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 17 % between 2008 and 2018.
  • However, according to the 2010 Energy Concept, the indicator should be decreasing by 20 % between 2008 and 2020.
  • This target is to be achieved with the help of the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan and the Energy Efficiency Strategy for Buildings.

Environmental importance

In 2018, 26 % of the total final energy consumption in Germany went into heating in buildings. In addition, nearly 5 % were used to heat water and cool rooms. By comparison: Consumption was therefore around 10 % higher than in the largest consumption sector, transport, which accounts for around 30% of total final energy consumption. Referring to this significant share, the Federal Minister for the Environment claimed in 2014 the In order to achieve a successful energy transition (‘Energiewende’) we need a heat transition with a radically new approach to heating (‘Wärmewende’) (BReg 2014, in German only).

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 17 % to 2,983 petajoules between 2008 and 2018. This is equivalent to 33.2 % 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.

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). Reaching this target remains a challenge. Measures laid down in the National Action Plan of Energy Efficiency (NAPE) and the Energy Efficiency Strategy for Buildings (ESG) are intended to help with the implementation (BMWi 2014 and 2015).



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 2020).

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