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Socio-ecological transformation of residential heating in Berlin

About half of Berlin's carbon dioxide emissions stem from energy consumption in buildings, especially for heating. Reducing heat demand through energy-efficient building refurbishment and shifting to renewable energies and waste heat for heating are the two central components of mitigation of Berlin's buildings. The considerable investments required for this are offset by benefits, such as lower heating costs after refurbishment. Costs and benefits are distributed among different groups of stakeholders, such as the public sector, building owners, and tenants. Among these stakeholders, there are currently conflicting views on the question of the social compatibility of energy-efficiency retrofits and on the design of energy policy regulations in connection with rent increases and the development of energy costs. In addition, households are affected to varying degrees by building modernizations: Low-income households and those at risk of energy poverty in particular need to be protected and supported. This paper complements existing debates on housing affordability and climate policy in major cities such as Berlin by providing scientific analyses on the effects of existing instruments such as income and investment support programs and information programs. In particular, the study focuses on the distribution of costs and economic benefits of energy retrofits and heating system changes for different stakeholder groups and highlights the impact on low-income households.

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