Those who work at home now can modernize their four walls more easily. Whether saving energy or building age-appropriate – owners benefit from many grants, cheap loans and tax breaks. FOCUS Online tells you with what funding the state is helping with house renovation.

Refurbish facades, insulate the attic, install an environmentally friendly heat pump – energetic refurbishments quickly cost several tens of thousands of euros. The advantages: With good insulation, you can cut your heating costs by up to 80 percent. In addition, the living comfort improves and your house increases in value.

Funding pot one: Eliminate energy wasters

Because many owners do not have their own funds, loans and grants from the state development bank KfW should help. All measures for more energy efficiency are supported. The state supports individual projects such as roof insulation with a maximum of 10,000 euros. There are 28,200 euros for installing a fuel cell. KfW donates a maximum of 48,000 euros per apartment. The maximum amount is only given to those who achieve the best energy standard (KfW Energy Efficiency House 55). In addition, the grant may cover a maximum of 40 percent of the eligible costs. If you want to achieve the maximum funding, you have to spend at least 120,000 euros, 72,000 euros of which out of pocket. Important: If the grant amount is less than 300 euros, there is no KfW money at all – so your investment should be at least 3000 euros.

KfW not only promotes material and craft costs, but also expenses for advice, planning, measurements and preparatory measures. If you want to replace your old heating system, you can also combine programs from KfW and the Federal Office for Economics and Export Control (Bafa). In order for the energetic renovation to be successful, KfW demands that building owners involve an energy efficiency expert in the planning. The expert confirms that the planned measures are eligible for funding under the KfW rules. You can then submit the application. Because of the higher expenses for planning and consulting, the development bank covers 50 percent of these costs up to 4,000 euros.

Funding pot two: remodel according to age

If you remove obstacles for older or disabled people with the renovation, you can also apply for support from the state development bank. KfW finances costs of up to 50,000 euros per apartment. Alternatively, you can also choose a grant that, unlike the loan, you do not have to repay. It is between 1,500 euros and 6,250 euros per apartment, but only covers part of the costs. If you remove barriers, for example, it is only 10 percent of the eligible costs up to a maximum of 5,000 euros. For the measure itself you have to spend 50,000 euros in order to receive the maximum grant.

For example:

  • Paths to buildings and living environment measures
  • Entrance area and access to the apartment
  • Overcoming stairs and steps
  • Room division and threshold removal
  • Reconstruction / measures in bathroom and sanitary rooms
  • Orientation, communication and support in everyday life
  • Common rooms, multi-generation living
  • Conversion to the “standard age-appropriate house”

Funding pot three: making the house safer

Damaged windows, ransacked cupboards, stolen jewelry – a break-in often not only leads to material damage, it can also traumatize those affected. The government has therefore launched a grant program with KfW for promotional measures that increase burglary protection.

Five areas can be distinguished here:

  • Installation of video cameras, intercoms and spies
  • Installation of alarm systems inside and outside
  • Illumination of windows and doors to eliminate dark areas
  • Securing windows, balcony and patio doors
  • Installation of burglar-resistant apartment doors or retrofitting of existing house doors

Homeowners can apply for a low-interest loan of up to EUR 50,000 from KfW for an alarm system, the installation of motion detectors or more stable windows. Alternatively, there is the possibility of opting for a direct grant of up to a maximum of 1,600 euros. However, you have to spend at least 500 euros to receive the bonus. This is also staggered, with KfW contributing 20 percent of the first 1,000 euros for burglary protection. Further eligible costs are subsidized with 10 percent. If you want to get the full funding, you have to invest 15,000 euros in home security. The subsidy also applies to tenants. Tip: Sign a modernization contract with the landlord.

Who is not supported?

Anyone who has already started or completed such a measure can no longer apply for funding to KfW. The attempt to reschedule existing loans is also hopeless. Holiday homes and apartments as well as weekend houses or commercial areas are also excluded from state aid. In addition to funding from the federal government and KfW, there are also various regional funding programs – for example in North Rhine-Westphalia, Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein.

Funding pot four: Tax deductible renovation costs

In order to create further incentives to save energy, the government has decided on new tax depreciation options. Those who live in their own property can claim this bonus for energy-efficient renovation measures since January 1, 2020. The tax rebate is granted for work on the thermal insulation of walls, roof surfaces and storey ceilings. The state also donates the funding when homeowners renew or replace windows, doors, ventilation or heating systems.

The tax office recognizes 20 percent of the renovation work of 200,000 euros as a deduction – a maximum of 40,000 euros. The support is granted as a direct deduction from the tax liability and spread over three years. In this way, taxpayers can collect the same amount of subsidy regardless of their tax rate. As a result, the bonus mainly benefits middle-income homeowners.

The place of residence does not have to be in Germany

However, the tax rebate is tied to certain conditions: the client must live in the building himself, a specialist company must carry out the work and the work must exceed the minimum technical requirements of the Energy Saving Ordinance. It is also necessary that the property is more than ten years old at the time of construction. And: The building owner must have all measures carried out between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2029 at the latest. By the way, your property does not need to be in Germany, it can also be in another EU or EEA member state.

Advice offers: clarify details with experts

In order to renovate a house energetically, many cost-benefit questions have to be clarified in advance. You can find out more about this, for example, from the North Rhine-Westphalia consumer center ( www.verbüberszentrale.nrw ). You can also call in an energy advisor for advice on energy-efficient living. Information and applications for the funding programs from KfW ( www.kfw.de ) and BAFA ( www.bafa.de ) can be found on the Internet. Important: All applications must always be submitted before the measure. And if possible, put them in the spring: the longer you wait, the greater the risk that the funding pot will be empty for this year.