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Do I have to be a resident to get France’s CEE home renovation grant?

The financial aid, which can be complicated to obtain, is available for second homes and main residences. We explain if you have to also be living in France to get it

Owners of second homes in France can apply for funding to make certain property renovations through the CEE scheme Pic: Jat306 / Shutterstock

Reader question: Are people who own a second home in France but are not residents there still eligible for eco home renovation grants such as the Certificat d'économie d'énergie or is it just main and second homes of people living in France?

The Connexion published an article on April 18 (see below link) explaining the system of Certificats d'économies d'énergie (CEE), a home renovation grant given out to improve the energy efficiency of properties. 

Read more: CEE: France’s home renovation grant for main and second homes

The CEEs are available for second-home owners, unlike some other home renovation grants in France, such as the MaPrimeRénov’ scheme. 

Following the publication of our article, we received a few messages from readers stating that the CEEs are only available to people living in France with second homes, and not to people who are not residents in France.

This is not the case. 

A spokesperson for the government organisation Agence de la transition écologique confirmed this, saying:

“It is possible to obtain this aid for a second home if [the owner] carries out energy efficiency work that meets a certain standard.”

The CEE scheme obliges energy suppliers (EDF, Engie, TotalEnergies, etc.) to obtain 'CEE' energy certificates (and thus avoid financial penalties) by funding renovation works aimed at improving the energy efficiency of households. 

Anyone, regardless of their residency, who wants to obtain financial aid through the scheme must carry out work that improves a property’s energy efficiency by a set amount. 

The funding can cover full renovation work or smaller individual jobs, such as improving insulation, upgrading boilers or heating systems.

For individual houses, the renovation must lead to a reduction in energy consumption in the house of at least 55%. 

For apartment blocks or shared properties, this must be at least 35%. 

The property must be more than two years old. 

CEES are available regardless of a household’s income, although lower earners are eligible to get higher subsidies. 

There is no clear advice on how someone who is not a tax resident in France can prove their income. Without this proof, the applicant will likely not be able to get higher subsidy rates. 

You can see more about what income level makes a household eligible for higher rates in our article here

It should be noted that the process of getting renovation work subsidised through CEEs can be complicated.

If you carry out steps in the wrong order, your application will be rejected. Equally, there are many different rules as to the type of renovation project that can be carried out and who can undertake it. You also must keep detailed records of the work and provide other pieces of evidence such as your income. 

Read our article, linked below, for more information on the scheme, how it works, who can benefit and advice for how to get help applying for this aid. 

Read more: CEE: France’s home renovation grant for main and second homes

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