State renovation grant open for second homes in France?
MaPrimeRénov is not available for second homes, however reduced VAT for certain renovation work can be obtained as well as ‘Prime Energie’ aid
Reader question: You report that the rules have changed for home renovation grants in France to allow more applicants – does that mean second-home owners can now benefit?
You are referring to MaPrimeRénov, the grants for renovation which replaced income tax credits for eco-friendly work, and it is true that their scope has been extended this year.
The grants were previously for lower-income owner-occupiers but are now open to all, including tenants and landlords who rent out a property. Unfortunately, though, this is not available for second homes.
However, there are two other main areas where help is open to second-home owners.
One is reduced VAT for renovation work. Where this is aimed at improving energy-efficiency, you may benefit from VAT at 5.5% instead of 20%. This can include, for example, installing a condensing boiler, a heat-pump or insulation, and both labour and materials are eligible.
You could discuss this with an artisan, who can advise on eligible work and make sure the bill reflects the low rate.
Use a worker certified as Reconnu Garant de l’Environnement (RGE).
You may also be able to obtain help from one of the energy companies (EDF, Engie, etc), which are subject to obligations to help people consume energy efficiently. This Prime Energie aid can come in various forms, such as a grant, a low-interest loan or an energy-efficiency check audit.