all projects

Close-up on heat pumps


German Federal Association for Heat Pumps



Our mission

As of January 1, 2024, every heating system must comply at least 65% of renewable energies. During the amendment of the Buildings Energy Act (GEG), the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action developed a concept for the implementation of this 65% RES-rule, released for public discussion in the summer of 2022. As a contribution to this discussion, the German Federal Association for Heat Pumps commissioned Prognos AG to provide a numerical basis for the cost-effectiveness of heat pumps in rented apartment buildings in consideration of different parameters (price level, building type, etc.).

The project team examines the question of the social compatibility of such measures by examining the allocation of costs and their economic consequences for tenants and landlords. The uncertainties arising from the changed framework conditions for gas and electricity prices should also be made clear.

Our approach

The first step is to analyse and determine end customer prices for electricity and natural gas, taking into account the volatility and uncertainties of current price developments.

Since the building stock in Germany is very diverse, several technical building variants are being investigated (two building types, with and without optimisation of the secondary heating system).

Three heat generators are compared for each of the defined type buildings:

  • An air-water heat pump
  • A brine heat pump
  • A natural gas boiler – as the most common system technology to date, for comparison

The necessary investment costs and assumptions regarding maintenance and operating costs are based on studies, our own estimates, and data provided by the customer. Due to the dynamic development of costs in recent years, the investment costs are calculated on the basis of appropriate indices (e.g. construction price index) for the year under review (2023), to be determined in the course of the project.

Current nationwide subsidies for heat pumps are taken into account.

Core results

As a result of the change in energy prices and the continuing availability of subsidies, the cost-effectiveness of heat pumps in moderately renovated apartment buildings has improved significantly compared to the use of fossil fuel heaters compared to previous years. Switching to a heat pump is now more economical than simply replacing a gas boiler with a new one. This can also help to offset sharply rising energy costs for renters.

Links and downloads

Result documentation (, PDF in German)

More information (, in German)

More about our work on this topic

Project team: Nils Thamling, Dominik Rau, Nora Langreder, Malek Sahnoun


Latest update: 11.10.2022 

Do you have questions?

Your contact at Prognos

Nils Thamling


View profile

Nora Langreder

Project Manager

View profile

Dominik Rau

Senior Project Manager

View profile

Mehr Studien & Projekte zu diesem Thema

More studies & projects on this topic

Energy efficiency gap analysis

| Project

Energy consumption for industry, buildings and transport has remained relatively stable for the last 20 years. A study for the German Industry Initiative for Energy Efficiency (DENEFF) shows how policy can use efficiency measures to counteract this stagnation.

Economic impact analysis for selected SDGs

| Project

A foundation group commissioned us to use KPIs to visualise the impact of its activities within identified focus SDGs.

Electricity grid expansion makes headway

| Project

For over 15 years now Prognos has been bringing together the actors concerned by the expansion of the electricity grid and facilitating dialogue between them – from the Danish to the Swiss bor-der.

Support for the Just Transition Platform

| Project

Through the Just Transition Platform (JTP), the EU supports the member states and regions in achieving their climate targets in a fair manner. Prognos provided the JTP with in-depth analyses and knowledge management.

12th Energy Transition Monitoring

| Project

The energy transition is still lagging behind its goals – such are the findings of our 12th Monitoring Report. In two of the four areas, the lights remain on red.

Annual Energy Transition Monitoring

| Project

What is the status of the energy transition in Germany? Since 2012, Prognos has been monitoring the energy transition in Bavaria and Germany on behalf of the vbw.

German energy market design

| Project

In the coming years new renewable power plants will have to be built – but also flexible gas power plants, which can be used when required. We examined various incentive instruments on behalf of the vbw.

Alternative transport scenario for Germany

| Project

Environmental organisations have tasked Prognos with adapting selected assumptions from the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure transport forecasts to facilitate climate-friendly transport development.

Ex-post analysis of energy consumption in Switzerland 2022

| Project update

Final energy consumption in Switzerland for the year 2022 was around 4 percent less than in the year 2021. Mobility (32 percent) accounted for the largest share.

Socioeconomic scenarios for Switzerland

| Project

What will Switzerland look like in the future? A welfare state in a fair world or an energy guzzler in fortress Europe? We examine the potential impacts of different scenarios on greenhouse gas emissions.

About us

Prognos – Providing Orientation.

Prognos is one of the oldest economic research centres in Europe. Founded at the University of Basel, Prognos experts have been conducting research for a wide range of clients from the public and private sectors since 1959 – politically independent, scientifically sound.

Learn more