Indicator: Energy consumption for heat

A graph shows overall building-related final energy consumption for room heating, room cooling, hot water and lighting. It illustrates a fluctuating decline between 2008 and 2015.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 11.1 % between 2008 and 2015.
  • 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 2015, 27 % of the total final energy consumption in Germany went into heating in buildings. In addition, nearly 7 % were used to heat water and cool rooms. By comparison: electricity use makes up 21 % of total final energy consumption. Referring to this significant share, the Federal Minister for the Environment claimed in 2014 the need of a heat transition with a radically new approach to heating (‘Wärmewende’) in order to achieve a successful energy transition (‘Energiewende’) (Federal Government 2014, in German only).

The ‘building-related final energy consumption’ indicator shown here 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, in line with energy-saving legislation, recorded as well.


Assessing the development

The building-related final energy consumption fell by 11 % to 3,069 petajoules between 2008 and 2015. This is equivalent to 35 % 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 (Federal Government 2010, in German only). 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 (AGEB 2014). Figures are taken from the fifth monitoring report of the energy transition ‘The Energy of the Future’ (BMWi 2016).

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