100% clean heating in the Oberland. The Kluge family from Eberfing receives the first award from Energiewende Oberland.

The “Clean Heating” award, designed by Energiewende Oberland (EWO) together with the region’s climate protection managers, has been available since autumn 2022. The first household receiving the smart wooden plate from the EWO is the Kluge family from Eberfing, who heats with a combination of heat pump and solar power. The award was developed as part of the EU-funded REPLACE heating exchange project and is intended to honour people who heat climate friendly and to encourage others to follow suit.

First prize winner “Clean Heating”: Matthias Kluge heats his house in Eberfing with a groundwater heat pump. The electricity for the pump comes from his own roof. Copyright: Matthias Kluge

Actually, the Kluge family from Eberfing wanted to use climate-friendly heating much earlier. Their new house was built in 1998. The temperature for heating and warm water was planned to come from a heat pump that could generate a lot of heat with relatively little electricity. For reasons of cost, however, they initially opted for an oil-fired heating system.

Why the Kluge family changed their heating system

Matthias Kluge explains how the changeover came about at the award ceremony, where he received the “Clean Heating” wooden plaque from energy consultant Andreas Scharli of EWO: “In Eberfing, I’m active in the energy working group and I really wanted to supply my own house with renewable energy. In addition, we had flood damage years ago when the oil tank in the basement leaked. That made us really aware of oil as a hazardous substance.” The practical step towards replacing the heating system was taken two years ago with the suitability check for heating from the consumer advice centre. With this, the family wanted to plan the change calmly, even though the oil heating was still working.

Groundwater heat pump and photovoltaics

Thanks to the good support of the local heating specialist, the Kluge family finally installed a groundwater heat pump in the summer of 2022. The main arguments in favour of this technology were the good groundwater conditions – accessible groundwater at a shallow depth – and the relatively high efficiency of this technology, which is especially important for an existing building. At the same time, the Kluges expanded their photovoltaic system so that the electricity for the heat pump came from their own roof right from the start.


“I always find the heat pump fascinating,” Mrs Kluge notes. “It works away in the basement and produces a pleasant shower temperature from water that is 8 degrees cool.” Matthias Kluge sees another advantage: he now wants to use the space that previously served as a tank room for his carpentry work. In addition, the Eberfingers are thinking ahead for the next generation: They also converted the heating system for their son and his family, who will soon be moving into the two-family house. From then on, there will be climate-friendly heat and electricity for all parties.