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Renovation loans 'too complicated'

Ecology minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet wants to rethink the concept

ALTHOUGH around 160,000 zero-interest éco-prêt à taux zéro loans have already been signed ecology minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet says it is not enough and she wants to rethink the concept.

She said the zero-interest loans had not reached the expected figure of 200,000 borrowers by the end of 2010.

They had been counting on 400,000 in 2012 as part of a rolling programme of house improvements that would see 400,000 home renovations a year starting from 2013 with the aim of cutting total emissions of CO2 greenhouse gas.

The 26 million main homes in France account for 30 per cent of the country’s energy consumption and 21 per cent of CO2 emissions.

Ms Kosciusko-Morizet said the present éco-PTZ, introduced in April 2009, was too complicated for the banks who deal with it.

However, the effects of the financial crisis are being also blamed for the low take-up with people hesitating before signing for new credit deals to put in new eco-friendly measures to their homes, even at zero per cent interest.

Despite it being one of the key measures in the Grenelle de l'Environnement agreement she said the éco-PTZ needed a change, although she did not say what she was thinking.

Shared-ownership pressure group Association des Responsables de Copropriétés, who represent people in buildings such as apartment blocks, has suggested one change. It called for the éco-PTZ to be available to groups of owners so they can make major changes.

Despite the setback, Ms Kosciusko-Morizet said 2011 would be a “year of solutions” for the environmental ministry. It marked the year the Grenelle came of age: “I am
convinced the Grenelle is a programme that is positively transforming our society.”

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