Link to full info sheet as PDF

Code Development


Germany has had building energy efficiency requirements since 1977. The first performance-based code, the Ordinance on Energy Saving in Buildings (EnEv) was introduced following the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) in 2002. The 2009  revision reduced maximum U-values based on different climate zones, required computer simulation for compliance, and introduced requirements for testing air-tightness, and boiler and HVAC performance. The 2014 revision further raised energy efficiency standards in new buildings and introduced new regulations for owners of older buildings.

Start Year

Exact Start Year


Start Year Range

< 1980

Revision Schedule

Yes, a revision schedule exists

Revision Schedule Explanation

The German government has committed to reducing the primary energy demand of buildings by 80% by 2050. Achieving this reduction will require foremost efficiency improvements, with a first milestone of a 20% reduction in heat demand levels by 2020. By 2020 buildings should be operating without fossil fuel. 

Existing Code Coverage

  • Commercial
  • Residential
Stakeholder Engagement

NA, Check Country Information Sheet for details

Best Practices

Code Implementation - Compliance & Enforcement

Administrative/Enforcement Structures

Individual German states enforce the building energy codes. Enforcers could be only government offices, government and planner, government and a third party. Usually, the local government conducts checks if there is evidence that something might be wrong. This diagram also explains Germany’s complex requirements for existing buildings

Compliance Checking on Design

Yes, compliance is checked on Design

Compliance Checking on Construction

NA, compliance varies by jurisdiction – refer to country information sheet for details

Compliance Checking on Pre-Occupancy

Yes, compliance is checked on Pre-Occupancy

Air Tightness testing

Yes, Air Tightness is tested

Commissioning before occupancy

NA, Check Country Information Sheet for details

Commissioning after occupancy

Yes, commissioning is happening after occupancy

Compliance Software Residential

NA, Check Country Information Sheet for details

Compliance Software Non-Residential

NA, Check Country Information Sheet for details

Penalties for non-compliance

  • Refusal Permission to construct
  • Refusal Permission to occupy
  • Other

Other penalties

Fines of between 5,000.00 euros and 50,000.00 euro

Incentives and Recognition program for compliance

  • Finance/Loans/Ratings

Short description

The government-owned banking group Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) plays a central role concerning promotion of energy savings and CO2 reduction in the building sector. Between 1990 and the end of 2009 subsidies for at least 3.1 million homes were implemented. In 2009, total subsidies amounted to 16.9 billion, of which 10.6 billion was for energy efficiency and 6.3 billion for renewable energies.

Compliance Rate monitoring

Yes, it exists

Compliance Rate Publicised

NA, Check Country Information Sheet for details

Compliance Lessons Learned

NA, Check Country Information Sheet for details

Compliance Energy Use Statistics

Yes, it exists

Short description

Statistics on permitting and energy use measures are available in public national statistics.

Compliance Rate in %

NA, Check Country Information Sheet for details

Capacity Building and Education

Awareness Raising

  • Awareness raising
  • Resourse kits
  • Compliance Training
  • Online resources -
  • Professional Curriculum

Short description

The German Energy Agency (Dena, Deutsche Energieagentur) is a “centre of expertise for energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and intelligent energy systems” (Dena). With regards to energy efficiency in buildings it organises campaigns, distributes information to the public, supports the building sector (architects or craftsmen) to work in line with current standards and regulations and develops standards and labels for efficiency.

Building materials

Building Materials Ratings

  • Reference standards included in codes
  • Tested by certified test labs

Short description

Germany adopted CE marking under the Construction Products Regulation (305/2011/EU-CPR), which covers energy economy and heat retention. EU has also adopted EN 15804 (2012) Sustainability of construction works, which provides rules for reporting life cycle assessment information. Deutsches Institut für Bautechnik is responsible for the accreditation and certification of testing labs.

Energy Performance Certificates

EPC Implementation

  • EPCs are referred to in codes -
  • Mandatory disclosure commercial -
  • Mandatory disclosure residential -

Short description

Building codes have incorporated EPCs to varying degrees since EnEV 2002. Germany introduced an independent control system in 2014. In Germany, states are responsible for checking the quality of EPCs, but it is not clear to what extent these checks effectively take place. The federal government also conducts some quality checks through the German Institute for Building Technology (DIBt).