The German cabinet on Wednesday approved a bill that bans most new oil and gas heating systems from 2024, the economy minister said, a policy designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions but that critics warned could be costly for poorer households.

Berlin's ruling coalition last month agreed that almost all newly installed heating systems in Germany should run on 65% renewable energy from 2024, both in new and old buildings.

The plan is part of Germany's ambition to become climate neutral by 2045 as the construction sector was responsible for 112 million tonnes of greenhouse emissions last year or 15% of the country's emissions.

Houses could also use heat pumps that run on renewable electricity, district heating, electric heating or solar thermal systems as acceptable alternatives to fossil fuel heating, according to the bill, which was seen by Reuters.

The policy has met resistance from within Chancellor Olaf Scholz's coalition, with critics calling it too costly and a burden on low- and medium-income households and tenants.

Around 78% of Germans are against the planned law, a survey by Forsa pollster published by ntv and RTL broadcasters showed on Wednesday. About 62% of those surveyed expect heating bills to rise after a switch to renewables, the poll showed.

Such a shift could cost Germans around 9.16 billion euros ($10 billion) annually until 2028, the draft bill showed. The costs would fall to 5 billion from 2029 as Berlin expects renewable energy expansion and a ramp up of heating pumps production to make the switch cheaper.

The government has promised to help subsidise replacing the oil and gas heating systems for poorer households.

The bill gives some exemptions, for instance for homeowners who are over 80 years old and living in hardship.

Those who violate the new rules face a fine of 5,000 euros, said the draft law, which will be now be debated in parliament.

Germany's push to phase out gas in heating became more urgent after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine prompted Berlin to halt Russian fossil fuel imports.

Heating uses up more than 40% of Germany's annual gas consumption as almost half of the country's 41 million households heat with natural gas while almost 25% use heating oil.

The bill means Germany would have to shut down more than 90% of its 500,000-km (310,685-mile) gas distribution network in the next 20 years, a study by Agora think-tank showed on Tuesday. ($1 = 0.9143 euros) (Reporting by Riham Alkousaa, Markus Wacket and Christian Kraemer; editing by Matthias Williams and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)