Almost half of all Germans would like to heat their homes with solar energy

01/18/17

According to the findings of a study on living in Europe commissioned by E.ON, almost half of all Germans believe it would be desirable to use environmentally friendly solar energy for space heating. However, this would require a radical change because the representative survey by Kantar Emnid also revealed that most houses and apartments in Germany are still heated with natural gas or oil. At 47 percent, natural gas currently holds the biggest share of the space heating market. 20 percent of all households use fuel oil, 11 percent wood and 10 percent rely on night storage heaters to keep their homes warm.

Elsewhere in Europe, too, people prefer solar for home heating. 61 percent of all Hungarians and 60 percent of Italians would opt for a solar-heated home. The people least interested in heat from the sun are the British. While 38 percent would prefer to heat their homes with solar energy, 36 per cent would like to live in a gas-heated home. But there is nothing in the study to suggest that the supposedly typical British weather is to blame because, in fact, Britain has as many hours of sunshine per year as Germany.

In many central European countries, wood is a much used fuel. Almost a third (31 percent) of Hungarians use this source of energy for heating, followed by the Czechs (20 percent) and Romanians (19 percent). Coal and oil only play an insignificant role in the home heating market in eastern parts of central Europe. This contrasts with the commonly held view that these fuels are still widely used across central and eastern Europe.

These results are part of the ‘Living in Europe’ study, for which E.ON and Kantar EMNID questioned around 8,000 people in Germany, the UK, Italy, the Czech Republic, Romania, Sweden, Turkey and Hungary in December 2016.

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