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Is French eco-renovation aid only for main homes?

Financial help is available for renovating French homes to make them more energy efficient, but second-home owners are not always eligible

Unfortunately, several of the main aids for this are for main homes only Pic: Vova Shevchuk / Shutterstock

Reader question: What financial aid is available from France for energy-efficiency renovations for a second home? 

Unfortunately, several of the main aids for this are for main homes only. 

For example, only primary residences are eligible for the MaPrimeRénov’ grant scheme for renovation work to make them more energy-efficient. 

However, if you rent your property out, you may also apply but it needs to be rented out as a main home (not a holiday/ short-term let) and for at least five years from the moment you receive the money, so if you plan to use the property yourself, this will not apply. 

The same applies to the interest-free eco-loan. 

Second-home owners can, though, apply for help under a different scheme called Certificats d’économies d’énergie (energy saving certificates/CEEs). 

The aid is provided by energy suppliers and can take the form of grants, vouchers or price reductions. 

Under this, homeowners can get money to carry out small projects, such as installing more efficient boilers or heat pumps, or insulating their home. 

You can compare offers on energy companies’ websites, such as EDF or Total.

You must accept an offer of aid before signing a quote for the work. 

The FranceRénov’network can offer free advice to help you. 

You should then contact a professional with Reconnu garant de l’environnement (RGE) status to undertake the work before sending supporting documents to the energy company.

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