Expert opinion confirms: Habeck’s heating law partly unconstitutional

Passau law professor Meinhard Schröder considers the federal government’s planned heating law to be partially unconstitutional. The Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs, Hubert Aiwanger (Free Voters), commissioned a legal opinion which confirmed that the law violates the principle of equality in the Basic Law in several points. One example is the age limit of 80 years for exemption from the heating replacement obligation, which constitutes arbitrary treatment of owners under 80 years of age compared to older owners (Welt: 09.06.23).


Shocking heating law: Elderly people with low incomes have to sell their houses, while the wealthy are allowed to continue using fossil fuels!

Moreover, the bill does not take into account economic or health aspects. Elderly people with low incomes could, in the worst case, be forced to sell their homes, while wealthy 80-year-olds are allowed to continue using oil and gas heating. Aiwanger stressed that the heating system would have to be fully replaced again if the co-owners of the property were younger. This unequal treatment is incomprehensible to anyone, he said.

Legal opinion on the Heating Act confirms partial unconstitutionality. Unequal treatment of tenants and owners
Legal opinion on the Heating Act confirms partial unconstitutionality. Unequal treatment of tenants and owners
Bild: Nicola Quarz, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Unequal treatment in the Heating Act: Highly elderly tenants are neglected and the law does not meet the minimum requirements!

The expert opinion also shows that the different treatment of owners and tenants violates the principle of equality. Elderly tenants would not be taken into account, although a heating exchange could also be unreasonable for them if the flat becomes temporarily uninhabitable. Aiwanger said the heating law was not practical and did not meet the minimum formal requirements. It belongs “in the bin”, said the Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs.


The traffic light government plans to initiate the farewell to oil and gas heating with the Building Energy Act next year. According to the draft law, the majority of newly installed heating systems are to use 65 percent renewable energies from 2024. State subsidies are to support the social transition, and transition periods and hardship provisions are to be introduced.

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