Boilers, cars, loans: 10 changes for residents in France July 2022

We look at updated regulations on boilers, black boxes on new cars, extended opening times at the Louvre and more

New changes this month include black boxes in new cars, new motorbike helmet standards, new rules for eco-friendly loans, and late nights at the Louvre
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Every month brings fresh changes in France. This month includes updates to laws on new boilers, loans for eco-friendly renovations, private rental ads, and legal surname changes. We explain.

1.Loans for eco-friendly home renovations

From July 1, homeowners will no longer need to show quotes or a description of work to their bank in order to obtain an interest-free loan – the ‘éco-prêt à taux zéro’ (éco-PTZ) – for eco-friendly renovations to their property.

If you have received the ‘MaPrimeRénov' grant, you need only present the issuing notification provided by the Agence nationale de l'habitat (Anah).

People wishing to obtain the loan still need to meet the eligibility criteria.

Read more:Explained: How to apply for a renovation grant for your French home

2.No more new oil or coal-fired boilers

From July 1, no new oil or coal-fired boilers may be installed, either in new homes, or when replacing an old boiler.

Instead, "new equipment using heat networks, electricity, biomass, solar or geothermal energy, gas, or a liquid biofuel" is required.

The only exception is if no alternative installation is possible.

3.Black boxes in new cars

From July 6, new car models will be fitted with a black box. The box will record aspects of the car’s movements such as speed, acceleration or braking phases, the wearing (or not) of seat belts, the use of indicators, the force of any collision, and the engine speed 30 seconds before an accident and 10 seconds after the impact.

The website states: “The black box fitted to cars does not record any personal data on the driver or passengers of the vehicle, such as sounds and conversations inside.”

Furthermore, the data recorded is only used in the event of an accident, and only investigators, judicial authorities or research institutes will have access to the data.

4.New rules on private home rental adverts

For individuals (as opposed to professional agencies), adverts for home rentals must now include certain details in their adverts or classified listings.

Whether the advert appears online or in a newspaper (or similar), the advert must now include:

  • The square-metre measurement of livable area
  • If the home is furnished or not
  • The town and arrondissement
  • The rent amount per month and any extra charges
  • What is included in the rent
  • The deposit amount
  • The fees due by the tenant for a pre-move-in inventory, including any taxes

5.Drop in ‘Bonus écologique’ financial aid for electric car purchases

As of July 1, loans will be reduced by €1,000 on all eco grants.

From this date, plug-in hybrids will be excluded from the aid scheme, "which will be reserved for electric vehicles whose CO2 emissions are less than or equal to 20g/km", said

6.Late nights at the Louvre

The world-famous gallery is opening its doors from 18:00-21:45 every Friday, from July 1.

The evening openings were one of the promises made by the president-director of the Louvre, Laurence des Cars. Until now, the museum has closed its doors every day at 18:00 (except on Tuesdays, when it is closed for maintenance).

Evening openings were successfully tested in 2019 and 2020 on Wednesdays and Fridays, and one Saturday per month, for free but with prior booking.

Just before lockdown, in February 2020, the museum had organised three opening nights for the then-showing Leonardo da Vinci retrospective.

The iconic gallery, which reached 10 million annual visitors before the pandemic, welcomed two million people between January and April this year.

7.End of €38 daily restaurant tickets

After having been extended twice in the past two years due to Covid, this higher amount (double the usual amount) for restaurant vouchers (‘tickets-restaurants’) will come to an end in June.

From July 1, the amount will revert back to €19 per day.

However, the higher amount was so popular and helpful in supporting restaurateurs during the health crisis that the Commission Nationale des Titres-Restaurant has asked the government to increase the standard daily amount to €29 in future. It says that it is hopeful this will happen.

Yet, in the meantime, from July 1 the amount will be €19.

Also from that date they will no longer be accepted on weekends or on public holidays.

8.Legal surname change to another parent name is easier

The procedure to legally change your surname to that of another parent can now be done with a simple declaration to the Etat civil (civil registry).

This will apply if someone wishes to bear the names of both parents, change their name from their father’s surname to their mother’s or vice-versa.

The public service website states: “From July 1, 2022, any adult will be able to change their surname simply by taking, by substitution, the name of the parent that was not given to them at birth and by declaring their choice by form at the town hall of their place of residence or birth.

“Before registering this change, the civil registry office will give the applicant a month's time to confirm this decision, which is only possible once in their life.”

Parents are also able to change their child’s surname using the same procedure until the child is 13. After that, the child’s consent will be required.

9.New motorbike helmets

From July 1, motorbike helmets will have a new standard approval stamp, ECE 22.06. The previous standard of ECE 22.05 will no longer be issued, and these will no longer be permitted to be sold from 2024.

The production of the old standard will end in 2023, to give manufacturers time to adapt.

This is the first new approval since 2007. Some helmets will no longer comply with the new standard and will not be compatible with all accessories.

10.The end of the French speaking clock

July 1 will mark the end of an era in France, as the speaking clock (horloge parlante) utters its last words.

Since 1933, people in France have been able to call 3699 and hear a voice tell them the exact time.

The speaking clock has now been replaced with a website created by the Observatoire de Paris and the LNE-SYRTE laboratory.

The speaking clock service is being wound down because of a continued drop in demand, fuelled by the advent of computers and mobile phones.

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