Climate protection with the Energy Saving Ordinance


Standards, regulations and guidelines – Germany defines the legal situation for building owners and architects in detail. The Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV) is supposed to ensure that the goals of the climate protection policy are adhered to.


Reading time: 3:00 min.

Climate-neutral construction thanks to the EnEV

There are many steps and above all regulations between building permit and building inspection. One of them is the energy saving ordinance or EnEV in short. It shows exactly which values must be complied with in order to construct buildings as energy-efficiently as possible. An essential aspect here is renewable energy such as daylight. Domelights, glass roofs or glass skylights bring natural light into the building and as a result reduce energy costs.

Owner in front of residential building | insights by LAMILUX

What is the EnEV?

The Energy Saving Ordinance is part of the German commercial administration law and deals with specifications and guidelines that ensure that buildings become more energy efficient step by step. The focus is mainly on residential and office buildings as well as certain company buildings. Decisive criterion: The indoor temperatures. Hence the EnEV mainly applies to buildings with a low (12 - 19°C) and normal (19°C) indoor temperature.  

For the building project in particular, different heating and insulation values apply that must be observed. To calculate these individually, building planners use the so-called reference building method. Here they imagine a building, which corresponds to the building project in size and direction and then determine the maximum permissible primary energy requirement. Afterwards they compare the values with the actual building project to see if the required limit values are met. 

On the way to climate-neutral construction

Since the first Energy Saving Ordinance in 2002, the requirements for energy-efficient construction have become increasingly strict. The goal: Climate-neutral construction by 2050. To ensure that the construction industry gradually gets closer to the required values by then, the Energy Saving Ordinance will only permit lowest-energy or zero-energy new buildings from 2021. That's why it becomes increasingly important to opt for renewable energies. Passive houses, for example, already show what construction looks like without classic heating of buildings - and the role daylight can play. Through very high thermal insulation and special ventilation techniques alone that ensure a pleasant room climate and sufficient fresh air, it is possible to reduce the energy requirement to a minimum.

Efficient lighting with daylight

One way to use renewable energy wisely is to use natural daylight. To ensure that enough light gets into the building, window fronts and skylights are inevitable. If sufficient daylight flows through the building, the energy required for artificial lighting of the apartment decreases at the same time. This does not only reduce the costs incurred, but also contributes to the environmental aspect of the Energy Saving Ordinance.

Skylights for a good environmental balance