A new interactive map revealing the energy efficiency of almost 5 million homes in France has been released.
The tool, developed by energy start-up Hello Watt, is free to use and shows the diagnostic de performance énergétique (DPE) rating of houses and apartments across the country.
Every home that has had an energy efficiency test since July 21 is included in the tool (which also boasts a satellite interactive map of all of mainland France).
The tool is updated as new energy efficiency tests are carried out.
“The tool can be used by people looking to buy or rent property to find out what the home's DPE is, even before they make their first contact with the owner,” said Hello Watt co-founder Xavier Coudert.
Even for houses where the information is not yet known, it can be possible to estimate the energy rating of a home by looking at the ratings of similar buildings nearby.
You can find the map here, which also includes a search bar that you can use to find your property or look up another address.
DPE an important measurement for homes
The tool focuses on the diagnostic de performance énergétique (DPE) of a home, which takes into account its overall energy efficiency across the year.
This ranking is particularly important, as the energy rating of a home must be provided when negotiating a home sale. Those with an F or G ranking also need to come with an ‘energy audit’ - before the sale is made - explaining how the home’s energy efficiency can be improved.
Rules regarding a property’s DPE level are also in place for landlords – rent prices in buildings of the lowest energy level (G) can no longer be raised, and these homes will be banned from being rented out after 2025 unless their energy efficiency is improved.
If the government sticks to its current plan, the ban will extend to ‘F’ rated properties in 2028, and ‘E’ rated properties in 2034.
Properties of an E, F, or G level represent almost one-in-five properties available to rent in France, and landlords have criticised the proposed timeline for being too strict.
They say it will remove properties from the market at a time when France is suffering a housing shortage, as they will not have time to adequately renovate properties before the cut-off point.
Tool for renters and homebuyers
The tool, therefore, can be used by a range of people.
Those looking to purchase a home can find out information about its energy efficiency before visiting, and those looking for a buy-to-let property can find out if they will be stung by the rental changes listed above in a few years’ time.
The tool is also “particularly useful for future tenants, who can, for example, estimate the cost of heating their future home using their DPE,” added the co-founder.
Currently, only 58% of people (homeowners and tenants) know the DPE rating of their property, but that could soon change after the tool’s introduction.