France Unveils New Efforts to Renovate Buildings

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This week, the French government unveiled a new series of efforts due to tackle the lack of thermal renovations in French buildings.

As I found out while writing my Master’s Thesis years ago, there are no less than twenty million housings to be weatherized in France. This would lead to significant amounts of money savings and decreased greenhouse gas emissions.

The building sector is responsible for around a quarter of the national greenhouse gas emissions as well as up to 45% of the national energy consumption (this figure also comprises the energy consumed within the buildings with the appliances).

According to the ” Livre blanc des énergies ” (White Book on Energy) written in 2003 by the French Ministry of Industry and Energy, a better insulation of all the housings with insufficient insulation could save up to the equivalent of 200 TW-h of electricity equivalent per annum, knowing that the total electricity consumption in France is of 473 TW-h per annum.

Here are the measures unveiled :

  • A unique information point to know everything about the aids you can receive as well as a telephone hotline ;
  • The creation of a 135 million euro fund – $180 million – to help housing proprietors to renovate ;
  • A 1,350 premium will be handed per household. These premiums are subject to conditions.

These measures will complement already existing ones such as a sustainable development tax credit as well as energy efficiency certificates. Other aids are available such as local ones and a zero-interest rate loan (see below).

To government officials, up to 80 percent of the renovations could be paid by the French government. Money savings could account from 35 to almost 80 percent, as the examples given show.

The demands for such measures is high as a fifth of households who are willing to weatherize their accommodations couldn’t do it because of insufficient/hard to understand aids.

Let’s hope all these measures will spark an increase of thermal renovation as to date only 150,000 are carried out in the country every year. This is a huge increase over the 40,000 renovations of 2008 but far from the objectives for a successful energy transition, which would be of 500,000 thermal renovations per year, ie. a three-fold increase.

The increase from 2008 to nowadays is partially due to the launch of a zero-interest rate loan for housing renovation which was carried out by the previous government. Under these measures, up to 30,000 €  ($37,600) can be loaned with no interest rate to increase the use of thermal renewable energy sources and of energy conservation.

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About Author

Fascinated by sustainability and cleantech since 2004, Edouard wrote both his Bachelor of Arts' dissertation and Master's thesis on sustainable energy topics. He haven't stopped writing on these subjects ever since. A French Master's graduate in international management, Edouard has had several experiences in Marketing and Communications in Europe. He worked for firms as diverse as a German water treatment company, a leading French business school and lately a Belgian automation specialist. He is currently for hire globally. Since 2007 Edouard has been selecting for his own blog the latest headlines and best researches on sustainable development, climate change, cleantech and the world energy sector. With over 1,600 published articles, he is read all over the world. On Cleantechies, Edouard has been proposing since June 2009 news articles and opinion pieces on on French and European policies. Don't hesitate to contact him as he is always interested in discussing with new people.

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