New €200m energy-saving scheme aims to cut red tape

A €200million project aims to encourage householders to save energy – after several expensive initiatives failed to persuade them to invest in home improvements.

25 September 2019
By Connexion journalist

Houses and small businesses have been identified as responsible for 25% of the CO2 emissions.

Ecology Minister Elisabeth Borne said four million smaller homes are badly insulated and waste money: they are too cold in winter or too hot in summer.

The new Service d’Accompagnement pour la Rénovation Energétique (SARE) “aims to help people identify and get advice on what work can be done to improve comfort and cut heating bills”.

The government hopes to improve 500,000 homes a year and the €200million it is investing is just half the total, as local and regional councils will match the sums involved.

Much of the money will be coming from big energy companies as the scheme is co-financed through the issue of CEE certificates for completed work – with a total of 40TWh of energy to be saved if it works.

There will be publicity campaigns for both householders and builders, plus a specialised site for people to get information and help. It does not start until January 1 but, if it works, could end the present confusing round of different schemes, information points and rules.

The new move is the latest in a series of attempts to cut energy waste, with the crédit d’impôt for energy-efficient renovations, prêts à taux zéro 0% interest loans for work, energy-saving CEE certificates, or the cut-rate VAT on materials.

One government minister on a fact-finding visit to ­Vesoul, Haute-Saône, was met with a barrage of complaints from people lost in a system that they described as an obstacle course.

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