Current Codes

Energy Conservation Ordinance (EnEV)
The Energy Saving Ordinance sets mandatory energy performance requirements for new buildings and for existing buildings in case of major renovation. This has been effective since 2002 and was last amended in 2013. One of the most stringent codes in the world, the EnEV sets standards for insulation, fenestration, envelope, and HVAC. Germany has plans to amend the EnEV in 2016 to incorporate the nearly-zero energy standard as required by the European Buildings Directive.


The Federal Government wants to have Germany’s building stock by virtually carbon-neutral by 2050.

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As a member of the European Union, Germany was required to comply with the Electronic Energy Performance of Buildings Directive passed in December 2002 (2002/91/EC). Germany responded with the Energy Saving Regulation, which set specific standards for energy efficient systems in new buildings. The renovation of existing buildings is voluntary. The regulation also required that an energy efficiency certificate be issued for all new buildings and whenever a building was rented or sold. The 2007 Energy Efficiency Action Plan was also passed, which set the energy saving target of 9% in the period of 2008-2016, and a reduction in Greenhouse Gasses from 1990 by 40% by 2020. By 2006, Germany had already reduced its GHG emissions 18%.

Germany has been developing high efficient passive houses since 1990. Passivhaus is an extremely competitive voluntary green building labeling system for buildings. An extremely prestigious label, Passivhaus accredited buildings are some of the most energy efficient in the world.

In 1978, Germany implemented its first energy efficiency requirements for insulation. Since many German buildings were constructed prior to 1978, one current national focus is increasing the rate of renovations. According to the Energy Efficiency Strategy for Buildings (2015), around 64% of today’s building stock was erected prior to the establishment of any minimum energy efficiency requirements.

The Energy Savings Act (EnEG), the legal basis for German energy conservation standards, was issued in 1976.