Government aid for geothermal heat pumps for private homes in France is set to increase to a minimum of €5,000 in a bid to increase takeup of the technology.
Geothermal heat pumps work by pumping heat from underground, to make use of the heat within the Earth.
While the pumps are a more eco-friendly way to heat your home in the long-term, in the short-term, their installation can be expensive. It costs around €18,000 on average and can vary considerably depending on the home and the installation needs.
On average, a household would save at least €800 per year compared to heating with heating oil (fioul) and €500 per year compared to heating with gas.
The use of geothermal heat pumps in France remains low, especially when compared to some neighbouring countries such as Switzerland. There are currently 200,000 geothermal heat pumps in France, but only around 3,000 are sold for installation per year. Geothermal heat represents only 1% of heat generation in France, of around 6 TWh.
As a result, the government is set to increase the aid for installation of the pumps by 40%, for projects that begin by 2030.
From March, the new aid amount will be €5,000 whatever your level of income. Previously, it was €4,000 for lower-income households and €2,500 for others.
Together with other support schemes and aids for the lowest-income homes, the amount available could reach as much as €16,000.
The government is aiming to double the number of pumps installed in private homes by 2025.
Ecology Minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher has highlighted that the pumps are “a particularly suitable option for rural areas”.
“This equipment lasts dozens of years so it’s really an investment that makes sense. They clearly reduce bills and also allow you to reduce your heating carbon footprint, and stay cool in summer too,” she said.
France currently offers other forms of aid to help households heat their homes.
These include a continuing ‘tariff shield’ for gas and electricity bills (a cap of 15% rise), vouchers for fuel oil and wood energy, and help for energy renovation work.