Heat Pumps Now Installed in Most New German Residential Buildings

June 2022

Germany is undergoing a sea change in construction. The Federal Statistical Office says that over half (50.6 percent) of new residential buildings in the country last year used heat pumps as their primary heating source.

By comparison, only 31.5 percent of newly completed buildings in 2015 had heat pumps.

“Heat pumps are a super-efficient technology and, especially when powered by renewable electricity, they are the greenest way to actively heat a building,” says Germany Trade & Invest expert Rob Compton. “We are expecting massive growth in the market. An interesting niche is large-scale heat pumps, which can deliver enough energy to heat entire blocks. Germany is funding a number of pilots – including one of Europe’s largest heat pumps .”

This development is part of a broader turn toward green construction. The Statistical Office reports that nearly 71 percent of buildings finished last year had some form of renewably sourced heat. Meanwhile, the share of gas heating declined from 51.5 percent in 2015 to 34.3 percent in 2021. And that trend looks set to continue.

“The war in Ukraine has lent further urgency to Germany’s already dramatic transition to renewable energy – not just in power generation but also in the heating sector, which is still largely reliant on gas and oil,” adds Compton. “There’s a lot of work to do, but the future of heating buildings in Germany lies in heat pumps, solar-thermal, and green district heating. These new figures show the change is already well underway.”

Heat pump © BWP