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Carrot and stick to cut heat waste

Ministers are reviewing changes to the taxe foncière system to put pressure on owners of poorly-insulated homes to carry out improvements and stop wasting energy

Ministers said seven million of France’s 29m homes were passoirs thermiques ‘energy sieves’ that wasted money and energy. Improving them could slash greenhouse emissions and, importantly, energy bills for residents who were often among the least well-off.

They said 14% of people were cold in their homes and 3.8m households had problems paying their energy bills.

Now ministers are consulting on how to persuade private landlords as well as corporations running social housing to carry out work which could cut energy use by 15% by 2023 and by 60% by 2050.

Housing and services buildings make up 45% of France’s total energy consumption and the government wants 250,000 private homes renovated each year to meet its targets.

The state will invest €6.2billion over five years in aid withhousing agency Anah offering grants and crédit d’impôt pour la transition énergétique tax credit to improve homes. As the tax credit only helps in the year after work has been done, it will be turned into a direct grant to pay for work in 2019.

A bonus-malus ‘carrot-stick’ system on the taxe foncière is being studied to incite landlords to carry out work as they pay the tax rather than residents – plus a tax at sale of poorly-insulated property, encouraging work to be done beforehand. You can comment on this at tinyurl.com/y875lfsj.

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