District heating and combined heat and power (CHP) systems


The expansion of district heating, mainly through highly efficient cogeneration production, is increasing in importance in national and local authority climate protection concepts due to its high energy efficiency and the possibility to integrate renewable energy sources. The German government has set the ambitious target of 25% for the share of electricity generated by cogeneration plant by 2020. In order to achieve this, the legal and economic conditions for an expansion of electricity generation by cogeneration facilities and supply of district heating have been considerably improved. This development is supported by various subsidy programs at federal, state and local authority level.


On the other hand there are an increasing number of legal and economic challenges to the expansion and new construction of district heating and cooling networks. As a result, new and existing district heating projects have to take legal requirements into account which are constantly being revised. This includes European laws and also the rulings of the German Federal Court of Justice.

We have extensive experience in the areas of energy efficiency and district heating and are available to assist you with:
  • Legal and economic evaluation of district heating concepts (German Renewable Energy Heat Act / German Renewable Energy Act / German Combined Heat and Power Act)
  • Contract design for district heating (customers with fixed rate contracts and special contracts, connection conditions, industrial customer contracts and reseller contracts)
  • Heating concession contracts and license agreements
  • Private and public compulsory connection and usage
  • Representation before anti-trust authorities, tax authorities, public procurement tribunals and courts
  • Rental law and the German Residential Property requirements regarding the supply of heat
  • Price calculation in accordance with the German Act Against Restraints of Competition
  • Calculation of price escalation clauses
  • Calculation and confirmation of efficiency, drawing up of business plans for the integration of renewable energy (e.g. biogas, biomass, deep geothermal energy, heat storage) in addition to fossil energy sources
  • Price system changeover from whole supply areas
  • Transactions, restructuring, organisational consulting and due diligence for the area of the thermal energy industry
  • Strategy to manage emissions trading after 2013 and other legal burdens of environmental law relating to energy
  • Obligation to provide proof according to the German Renewable Energy Heat Act and certificates for regenerative heat
  • Integration of provisions for (energy) tax law
  • Project-based consulting (controlling, liquidity planning, contract management, follow-up management)
  • Crisis management for customer insolvencies
  • Financing in difficult market conditions
  • National and international subsidies for the expansion of district heating networks and heat concepts



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Benjamin Richter


+49 89 9287 803 50

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Joachim Held

Associate Partner

+49 911 9193 3515

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