In order to achieve climate neutrality, there is no alternative to the transformation of heat supply. In this context, greenhouse gas-neutral district heating networks are particularly important – the German government agrees and is promoting efficient heating networks in a comprehensive program. Hamburg Institut offers professional consulting on all aspects of the federal support for efficient heating networks (BEW). One focus here is the preparation of transformation plans and feasibility studies.

More renewable energies, less dependence on fossil raw materials: This credo applies to the heating sector more than ever. The climate-neutral supply of heat plays a key role in achieving the climate targets, and the corresponding transformation of the heating system is therefore also being promoted by the legislator. For example, the federal subsidy for efficient heating networks (BEW) – launched by the German Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) and due to come into force in September 2022 – is aimed at the construction of new heating networks with a high proportion of renewable energies and waste heat, as well as the decarbonization of existing networks.

What is subsidized under the BEW?

For heating network operators, incentives have been created to invest in the new construction of heating networks based on renewables and to decarbonize existing networks. This can be, for example, the construction of a local heating network with a high share of renewable energies in a new housing area or the conversion of existing district heating networks to renewable energies and waste heat.

As this conversion is time-consuming and cost-intensive, the funding is based on a systemic approach – i.e. the heating network is considered as a whole. At appropriate points, this systemic approach is supplemented by individual measures.

The broadly based funding covers all phases and ranges from planning and feasibility studies to operation. The construction of heat generation systems, heat storage facilities and heat pipelines is financially supported by investment grants. In addition, operating cost subsidies are granted for the production of renewable heat from solar thermal systems and from electricity-driven heat pumps that feed into heat grids, either in new heat grids or in heat grids that are to be transformed. As a rule, it is necessary to first prepare a transformation plan or a feasibility study in order to qualify for the subsidy.

How is the BEW subsidy structured?

The BEW program is divided into four modules; these build on each other chronologically:

Module 1: Transformation plans and feasibility studies

Module 2: Systemic support for new build and existing networks

Module 3: Individual measures

Module 4: Operating cost support


We are your competent partner for all questions regarding BEW funding. In consultation with you, we will be happy to support you, for example, in applying for funding and prepare transformation plans and feasibility studies according to BEW Module 1 for you:

Transformation plans
show how existing heating network systems can be transformed to be greenhouse gas neutral by 2045 and outline how this transformation will be realized in time, technically and economically.

Feasibility studies
address the feasibility and economic viability of the concept of a new heat grid system to be built with predominantly renewable heat generation (i.e., at least 75 percent renewables and waste heat).

Type and scope of funding according to module 1

  • Non-repayable grant for the costs of preparing transformation plans or feasibility studies
  • Funding of 50 percent of the eligible costs
  • Grant period: 12 months from issuance of the grant notice, with the possibility of a one-time extension of up to twelve months
  • Maximum funding amount: 2 million euros per application




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