Time is ticking to benefit from energy-saving government grant in France

The Coup de pouce Pilotage scheme, worth up to €624, runs out in December

Government grants of up to €624 are available for smart thermostat installations

Anyone wanting to take advantage of the government’s grant for installing programmable central heating thermostats in their homes has until December to apply.

The grant, called Coup de pouce Pilotage, came into effect in December last year, and runs until the end of December 2024. The amount varies between €260 and €624, depending on the size of the home where the thermostats are installed, but also comes with conditions.

The main one is that the thermostat system must be able to control temperature in different rooms from one centralised box. This makes sense with electric central heating systems, which are the most common heating source in French homes, but is more complicated with hot water central heating using a boiler.

Up to 15% savings

The box must also have at least four easy settings, labelled comfort, economy, anti-freeze and off. Government experiments have shown that houses with programmable thermostat systems use on average 15% less energy than those without, which is why there are plans to make them compulsory in all houses by 2027, although details have yet to be worked out.

Conditions to benefit from the grant are that the property is at least two years old, and that the system is installed by a tradesperson who has signed up to the coup de pouce scheme.

The grant can be added to other grants, such as MaPrimeRénov’, without problem. A list of tradespeople is available from the dedicated website set up by the ecology ministry, which can be found here.

At the time of writing there were 36 companies signed up to cover the country, including the energy giants EDF and Total.

Consumer magazine 60 millions de Consommateurs said it is possible for people with hot water radiators to benefit, but a plumber must replace the radiator taps with new connected thermostat ones.

These were pioneered by the French company Netatmo, and subsequently copied worldwide. These can then be connected to an internet box, by Wi-Fi and the radiators managed by a smartphone.

Prices are likely to be between €50 and €120 for the connecting kit, and then between €30 and €60 for each radiator.