Plan to boost energy efficiency in French houses

PUBLISHED: 17:05 06 October 2020 | UPDATED: 17:05 06 October 2020

Millions of French houses require renovation before 2028 (c)artursfoto/Getty

Millions of French houses require renovation before 2028 (c)artursfoto/Getty

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A government scheme means homeowners can receive aid to make eco-friendly home improvements

Could your French property be in need of an eco-friendly upgrade? The French government has launched a plan to reduce the number of homes which are not sufficiently energy efficient, as part of its commitment to the energy and climate law of 2019. Over the next seven years, requirements will be put in place to encourage property owners to make the necessary changes to their properties, or risk restrictions on rental and resale opportunities. The properties that fall into this category are those with an energy performance classification of F and G, properties known in France as ‘passoires thermiques’ - ‘heat sieves’. According to SeLoger, these properties currently number around 7 million.

The first measure, coming into effect at the start of 2021, will affect landlords, who banned from raising their rental rates if they do not carry out works to improve the energy efficiency of their property.

The second measure, which will come into effect in 2022, will require owners of passoires thermiques to carry out an energy audit (containing proposals for work to be carried out, and estimated costs) of their property if they wish to sell or rent it.

From 2023, buildings that remain in the F and G classifications will be classed as ‘indecent’ and no longer meeting standards, meaning tenants will be within their rights to demand that changes be made.

Finally, any property owners who have not made the necessary changes after these measures will be obligated to do so by 2028, unless there is a legal reason, such an architectural constraints, why they can’t. You can find details for the full measure on the ecologie.gouv.fr website.

You can receive government aid to get your property up to energy standards (c)Peter Fleming/GettyYou can receive government aid to get your property up to energy standards (c)Peter Fleming/Getty

Financial aid available for all

For any property owners reading this with some trepidation, don’t panic - the French government has put a scheme in place which makes anyone eligible for an amount of financial aid to renovate their property in order to make it more energy efficient.

With MaPrimeRénov, owners are eligible to be compensated for up to 90% of their renovation costs - you can find out how much aid you would be eligible for here.

The only conditions are that the work must be carried out by a company which carries the RGE label (Reconnu garant de l’environnement) and that it is on a list of approved renovations including replacing a boiler for a more energy efficient model, installing a geothermal or solarothermal heat pump, or installing insulation for walls, roofs, or glass. The full list and more information can be found on the MaPrimeRénov website.

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