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Bid to cut €65bn French energy bill

Ecology minister unveils long-awaited bill described as one of the most important of François Hollande's presidency

ECOLOGY minister Ségolène Royal has unveiled a long-awaited energy bill that, the government says, will create 100,000 jobs, reduce France’s dependence on nuclear power, and cut energy costs.

Ms Royal presented the bill - said to be one of the most important in François Hollande’s presidency - to the council of ministers this morning.

Households will receive tax benefits of up to 30% of expenditure on any energy saving improvements they make to their home.

And anyone who scraps a diesel car for an electric one will be eligible for up to €10,000 discount on their purchase.

As an example to others, 50% of the government’s new fleet of cars will be electric, Ms Royal announced.

She told her colleagues that her aim was to reduce France’s energy bill, currently €65bn a year, an amount that she described as a “burden” on the economy and growth.

All new public buildings must be “examples” of energy efficiency, she said.

And she described her “grand challenge” as being to reduce France’s dependence on nuclear power from its current level of 75% to 50% by 2025. As a starting point, the bill will peg nuclear output at its current level of 63.2 gigawatts.

She said: “"We will not get out of nuclear energy, but we need to diversify our energy sources.”

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