The traffic light coalition has settled its dispute over the climate levy for residential buildings. The planned cost-sharing between tenants and landlords for the carbon dioxide (CO2) levy is to be passed this week, Reuters learned Tuesday evening from the Greens and from the SPD. "The law will be put on the Bundestag on Thursday and will come into force as planned in 2023," said the construction policy spokeswoman for the Greens in the Bundestag, Christina-Johanne Schröder. "This shows that as a traffic light we are capable of reaching agreement."
Her SPD colleague Bernhard Daldrup said, "We have found a good compromise." The FDP, at whose request the adoption originally planned for October had been postponed, also confirmed the agreement.
For millions of tenants, this means relief. Until now, they have borne the costs of the carbon dioxide levy introduced in 2021 alone. Landlords are now to share in this according to a graduated model that distributes the costs according to consumption and the condition of the building. The less climate-friendly their building, the greater the landlord's share of the costs. The original draft law stipulated that their share of the costs should be between 90 and zero percent.
Daldrup said the tier model had been changed once again. In the lowest tier for buildings with particularly high emissions, landlords would now have to bear 95 percent of the CO2 levy. "This gives landlords a greater incentive to make energy-saving investments," Daldrup said. "Conversely, landlords in the upper segment are largely relieved." Overall, he said, the model results in a 50-50 split of costs between tenants and landlords.
Originally, the Bundestag was to pass the law as early as October. However, the FDP put on the brakes. Its construction policy spokesman Daniel Föst, for example, had insisted on postponing the project in order to avoid further bureaucracy in a time of energy crisis and inflation. "With the phased model comes now a fair distribution of CO2 costs," Föst now confirmed the agreement. "We must see that the bureaucratic burden remains as low as possible and that no further burdens are placed on micro and small landlords in particular."
According to earlier information from the Ministry of Construction, the phased model covers more than 13 million apartments. According to information from the draft law, this will incur "carbon dioxide costs estimated at one billion euros, which will be borne entirely by tenants." In the case of commercial properties, the original draft of the law said tenants and landlords would each initially bear half of the CO2 costs.
The bill also took into account special rules for gas-fired floor heating systems, for example. There, tenants pay the gas bill themselves and must claim a share of the costs from the landlords. The tenants' association had put the additional costs resulting from the CO2 levy for an average apartment in an apartment building at around 67 euros (gas) and 98 euros (heating oil) per year for 2022. The costs will rise over the next few years with a gradual increase in the CO2 levy. However, the traffic light coalition has postponed the increases planned for next year and the years thereafter by one year because of the costs caused by the energy crisis.
Image by Gerd Altmann