Studies and surveys.

2016 Forsa survey “Energy supply and energy shift”* What Germans feel to be important regarding energy supply and how they assess the chances of the energy shift

For the fourth time, the German opinion research institute Forsa surveyed tenants as well as home and apartment owners on energy supply in Germany on behalf of WINGAS GmbH. The survey focused on the safety of energy supply and energy transition. Survey participants were also asked which renovation measures they had carried out last year and which types of energy and heating systems they preferred. It once again became clear how popular natural gas is among German citizens.


Security and price have top priority

German citizens concur: When it comes to energy supply, costs and supply security have top priority. 67 percent, or more than two-thirds of Germans believe it to be particularly important that prices for electricity and energy remain affordable for all citizens. A secure and reliable supply of energy is very important for 51 percent. The largest deviation was in relation to a reliable energy supply, which was important for 60 percent in 2015. 43 percent regard energy generated in an environmentally friendly way to be extremely relevant. Opinions have only changed little compared to the previous year.


Most Germans believe the energy supply is secure

German citizens have a lot of trust in the current energy supply. 85 percent consider the current supply to households and companies to be secure and reliable in principle. This positive assessment is shared by just about all age groups and categories of voters. The rising trend of the past years in the assessment of supply security therefore continues. Compared to 2015, the share of those who believe the supply to be secure has risen slightly by four percent.


There is still a critical view of whether the energy shift will succeed

Germans still have a critical, albeit a little more optimistic view of the energy shift. 41 percent of those surveyed believe that the energy shift will succeed as planned by policymakers. That is seven percent more than in 2015. The proportion of those who fear bottlenecks, disruptions and outages has declined slightly. A bit more than half believe that implementing the energy shift may result in problems.


Gas heating systems are the most popular in the boiler room

Regarding the type of heating, natural gas is ahead of other systems: Almost one-third of all house and apartment owners would opt for natural gas if they had to install a new heating system. 23 percent of those surveyed favored natural gas heating in combination with solar or geothermal energy. Just twelve percent would choose geothermal energy or a heat pump and only one in ten an oil heating system.


Natural gas remains the partner of choice to accompany renewable energies

In the foreseeable future, renewable energies will not be able to cater to Germany’s energy needs. That means traditional sources of energy will still remain indispensable in ensuring a secure supply. Citizens know that, too. Natural gas is the preferred partner to renewables by a large majority. 61 percent of Germans would like to see natural gas take over supplying energy along with solar and wind power. That means natural gas is well ahead of oil (27 percent), nuclear power (19 percent), hard coal (17 percent) and lignite (16 percent). Nuclear power is the big loser: Five percent fewer people were in favor of nuclear energy than last year.


For greater energy efficiency: Heating system modernization and building insulation

A bit more than half of house and apartment owners have carried out modernization measures in the past five years (44 percent) or said they intended to (eight percent). There is thus great potential for increasing energy efficiency and thus reducing CO2 emissions.

Of those who carried out measures, 65 percent invested in insulation and 40 percent in new heating systems. The figures have fallen slightly in the last years.

The main criterion for owners in choosing new heating systems is long service life and durability (62 percent). Systems that work in an eco-friendly and energyefficient way are also very important for many (58 percent).

In response to the question as to what was more important in choosing a heating system – CO2 emissions or heating costs as low as possible – 35 percent were in favor of low heating costs, while 34 wanted CO2 emissions as low as possible. Both factors are equally important for 29 percent of those surveyed.

*Forsa Politik- und Sozialforschung GmbH interviewed 1,002 citizens aged 14 or over on behalf of WINGAS from 12 May to 18 May 2016.

In addition, 502 homeowners were interviewed. All figures in the graphs are in percent.

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