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Solar modules on listed roofs: Changes to the Bavarian Monument Protection Act 2023

Denkmalgeschützte Dächer mit Solar-Anlagen im Hinteregrund, im Vordergrund ist das Bayersiches Denkmalschutzgesetz mit Änderungen 2023 zu sehen

The Bavarian State Parliament passed the amendments to the Bavarian Monument Protection Act (Bayerisches Denkmalschutzgesetz) on 14 June 2023. 

The law brings important changes for monument conservation in 20 articles, including the possibility of easier integration of renewable energies (solar panels) in the scheduled environment - in line with professional standards and a sense of responsibility. 

According to the website of the Bavarian State Ministry of Science and Art (Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst), the law aims to "protect monuments, utilise energy potential and support municipalities". The new amendments to the law took effect on 01 July 2023.

The full text of the law and its amendments can be found at the following link (in German):

The main regulations for renewable energy installations in scheduled buildings are defined as follows:

1. Priority of own energy needs: permission under monument law may only be refused if overriding principles of monument protection speak against it. The installations should primarily cover the energy needs of the monument or contribute to its energetic improvement. Excess energy input shall be limited in order to preserve the historic appearance.

2. Installation of the systems and preservation of the scheduled building: the substance of the scheduled building should be preserved as far as possible, and the solar energy systems must be integrated into the appearance in a way that is compatible with the preservation of the scheduled building.

3. Professional planning of the facilities: Necessary measures for efficient building operation must be determined individually. Qualified specialist planners, such as energy consultants in scheduled buildings, must submit appropriate, verifiable documentation.

4. Suitability testing of systems based on a stage model: In consultation with the Bavarian State Office for the Preservation of Monuments (BLfD = Bayerisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege), the regular monument compatibility of systems can be developed based on a stage model for various scheduled buildings. The use of individual solutions is preferred in order to avoid standard solutions. Among several options, the one that is most compatible with the scheduled building requirements must be selected.

5. Visibility of areas: In areas that are not visible, the installation of conventional systems is generally permitted, subject to the premise of preserving scheduled substance and in consultation with the specialist authorities.

6. Visibility of areas in the case of individual monuments, ensembles and surroundings: In visible areas of ensembles and individual monuments, PV systems (e.g. solar tiles, solar foils, systems integrated into the roof surface, etc.) and geothermal systems that are compatible with monuments may be approved, provided that the substance and appearance remain protected. The same applies to so-called surroundings cases (changes in monument surroundings , that can affect the existence or appearance of the scheduled monument).

7. Funding opportunities: The additional costs for monument-compatible adaptations of renewable energy systems as well as energetic refurbishments of monuments are eligible for funding.

These regulations are based on Art. 6 Para. 2 Sentence 3 of the Bavarian Monument Protection Act (BayDSchG) in its new version (valid from 1 July 2023).