The project is currently being reviewed by the German government, which will work out a plan for an incremental transition to the new billing scheme.
Homes would be assigned a category depending on their CO2 emissions: the lower the emissions, the higher the energy class.
Tenants residing in high-energy-class houses will continue paying 100% of the heating costs themselves. For the rest of the households, utility bills will be divided between the landlord and the tenant with 90% being paid by the former. Another proposal wants to completely exempt tenants residing in low-energy-class houses from any heating charges.
Project advocates assert that this measure will encourage property owners to invest in repairs and insulation. In the future, they plan to divide the payment equally between the tenant and the owner.
German environmental organizations supported this initiative, stating it could help reduce CO2 emissions.
The initiative also has some opponents, such as The Association of Property and Landowners (Haus & Grund Deutschland). The organization considers it wrong to pass all heating costs on to the landowners and is willing to defend its position in court.
Furthermore, says aussiedlerbote.de, some experts believe that passing such a law would lead to rent increases, as the additional utility costs would be included in the rental fee.