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Cut French energy bills or face penalty on house sale

Ministers are looking at copying the anti-pollution bonus-malus system for buying cars and re-targeting it at house-owners to encourage them to improve home insulation and energy efficiency.

With the diagnostic de performance énergétique (DPE) being part of the obligatory documents to be produced for a property sale or rental for the last 20 years, Ecology Minister Nicolas Hulot said he is looking at a system based on this.

It would see energy efficient homes (DPE-rated A or B) being given a bonus while those that are badly-insulated (rated E, F or G) would be hit with a penalty on resale.

A decision is due this year as Mr Hulot is set to become the first ecology minister to hit the target of renovating 500,000 homes a year.

The 2015 energy transition law imposed a condition of renovating all homes with an F or G rating in their DPE by 2025.

However, proposals on how it would work have disturbed some in the building industry who fear it could penalise poorer or more rural areas where renovation is expensive.

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