Act presented – Off for gas boilers in new construction from 2023


Austria has achieved its self-proclaimed strategic gas reserve target of 20 terawatt hours, equivalent to one fifth of its annual consumption. Energy Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) and Labor Minister Martin Kocher (ÖVP) announced this after Wednesday’s Council of Ministers. In addition, the pillars of the Renewable Heat Act were presented. Next year will be the definitive end for gas boilers in new construction.

The timetable provides for a complete replacement of all gas heating systems with climate-friendly alternatives by 2040. In the case of oil, the time has already come in 2035. It is precisely in these times that it is irresponsible to install new gas or oil heating systems, Gewessler explains, also in view of the war in Ukraine and the attempts to become independent from Russian energy. The measures are accompanied by “comprehensive financing”. According to Gewessler, about two billion euros has been set aside for this. According to the Green Minister, a record number of subsidy applications have already been received. Incidentally, there is a subsidy of 9,500 euros for the replacement of gas heaters and 7,500 euros for the replacement of oil heaters.

There are special transport rails for multi-storey residential buildings. For low-income people, up to 100 percent of the new heating system will be financed through the “Clean heating for all” grant. Gewessler described the law as an important step towards ending “painful dependence on Russian gas”. A quarter of the gas is consumed by households and the aim is to save this by phasing out fossil fuels. “The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine has brutally shown us how fragile our energy supply is. The answer to that can only be: get out of the Russian gas. With the Renewable Heat Act we are taking another big step on this path,” says Gewessler.

Additional damping measures for companies
Additional damping measures will be introduced for energy-intensive companies. According to the Minister of Economy, the law on the equalization of electricity costs is intended to maintain Austria’s competitiveness and to support important companies in this crisis. The law provides for a subsidy of 30 percent of the additional costs for electricity, natural gas and fuel. Financing is arranged in a phased program – from phase 2 only electricity and natural gas can be financed. A total of 1.3 billion euros is available for the energy cost subsidy. The grant is processed by the aws, the Federal Development Bank, on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Economy.

In addition to the energy crisis and record inflation, Kocher also focused on the situation on the labor market. Here are both positive and negative signals. Compared to the still relatively low unemployment rate this year, the unemployment rate will only rise slightly in the coming year, explains the ÖVP minister.

Decision in parliament turns into a fight again
With the decision in the Council of Ministers, the bill now goes to the House of Representatives. A two-thirds majority is required to adopt the Renewable Heat Act. To this end, the governing parties are now entering into talks with the opposition parties. The Renewable Heat Act also reflects the resolutions of the federal states on the heat strategy. The central pillars were jointly developed and established by the federal government and the federated entities.

Source: Krone


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