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Energy efficiency rules could put French ski resorts at risk

France is considering extending a ban on renting out poorly-insulated properties to include short-term holiday rentals

Much of the accommodation at French ski resorts is poorly insulated Pic: zjtmath / Shutterstock

Rules banning poorly-insulated properties from being rented out could be extended to short-term Airbnb-style rentals, the housing minister has said, with potentially significant consequences for ski resorts. 

It will no longer be possible to rent out properties with a G diagnostic de performance énergétique (DPE) rating from 2025, an F from 2028, and E from 2034. 

There was a burst of quick and cheap ski station building in the 1960s and early 1970s, before thermal efficiency requirements were introduced. 

A survey by Heero, a fintech firm specialising in renovation, found that in 10 of the 70 ski stations it studied, more than 70% of accommodation sold as main residences (2006-21) had F or G ratings. 

At Isola 2000, near Nice, 90% of the accommodation had an F or G rating. 

Sandrine Allonier, coauthor of the report, said: “You often have, in the same building, or in a cluster of buildings designed at the same time, a hotel, flats used as second or main homes, and short-term rentals. 

“It is entirely reasonable to assume that DPEs from the flats will accurately reflect the short-term rental side too.” 

She said Housing Minister Olivier Klein was probably thinking of Airbnbs in Paris but the rules would apply across the country. 

“We want to alert owners of properties in ski resorts of the necessity to do some work, and the government about the huge knock-on effect if they charge ahead with something like this. 

The whole economies of many mountain regions could be affected.”

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