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Bonus for swapping old boiler planned

A prime à la casse for boilers is planned to help offset rising gas prices, up five per cent on April 1

A BONUS for scrapping an old, inefficient boiler and replacing it with a new one is being planned.

The idea, announced by Energy Minister Eric Besson, is based on the
prime à la casse that existed for scrapping old, polluting cars until the end of last year.

The minister said it is one of the projects the government is working on to counteract rising gas prices.

A five per cent rise is due on April 1.

Mr Besson said the bonus is being organised in partnership with GDF-Suez, and details are being finalised. It could be up to about e250, to help households install more economical boiler systems (which start at around e800).

Mr Besson said he has also asked that GDF-Suez offer gas users free energy efficiency studies on demand.

He said he would also be increasing by 20 per cent the discount available for low-income households that use gas heating. For example, a family of four would get e142 off, instead of e118.

He also wants the discount to be applied automatically to those eligible: at present, many do not benefit because they do not apply.

Mr Besson said the government’s other strategies to cope with rising petrol prices include spending a billion euros on investments in greener vehicles and continuing investment in nuclear power, which he said represents a “competitive advantage” for France.

Photo: sxc teq

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