What is the ‘plan thermostat’ for all homes in France?

It relates to equipping automatic heating and cooling systems with temperature regulators

You can make a water radiator more efficient by fitting it with a ‘smart valve’
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Most homes and offices must be fitted with thermostats by 2027 under the ‘plan thermostat’ announced by the government. We look at what this means, how it works and who is exempt.

Since 2017, new automatic heating and cooling systems sold in France must be equipped with a thermostat.

This can either be an individual thermostat on the system itself, or a thermostat in each room connected to an automatic central heating or cooling system.

The ‘Plan Thermostat’ included in the ‘Plan de Sobriété Energétique 2023’, or energy sobriety plan, on October 12 seeks to extend this obligation by encouraging people to fit old heating systems with thermostats.

The thinking is that thermostats help reduce energy consumption.

“Having a smart thermostat means 15% lower energy consumption,” announced the Plan de Sobriété Energétique.

“In order to help people to have the right temperature in the right places, the government is launching the ‘Plan Thermostat’ in collaboration with partners in the private sector.”

Who is affected by the ‘Plan Thermostat’?

All homes and offices that use automatic heating systems are affected by this scheme.

Systems without integrated thermostats, (usually those that predate 2017) should either be replaced or upgraded with thermostats.

Hot water radiators will have to be fitted with ‘smart valves’, which can turn them on and off based on the room temperature.

Around 27 million homes do not have thermostats in each room, which means that 9 million homes must be fitted each year to meet the 2027 target.

From 2024, the government will pay up to 80% of the cost of fitting these systems. The exact process for this has yet to be announced.

The plan also proposes partnerships between the state and major retailers, such as Leroy Merlin, Castorama, Bricodépot, Bricorama, Fnac and Darty to facilitate offers for smart thermostats and their installation.

People will also be able to claim support from their energy supplier by applying for a certificat d’économies d’énergie (CEE), or energy saving certificate, to fit them. This usually comes in the form of a discount on the electricity bill.

To qualify for a CEE grant, which is paid after the work is completed, the work must be carried out by an RGE-certified professional.

Read more: Does France offer grants to install reversible air conditioning?

No penalties have been announced yet for the owners of systems without a thermostat.

Which heating systems are not affected by the ‘Plan Thermostat’?

Non-automatic systems are not concerned.

These systems include wood, pellet and gas stoves as well as mobile heaters.

How much do thermostats and ‘smart thermostats’ cost?

It depends on how many heaters you have to connect, whether they are hot water radiators or electric, and whether or not you want to control the system with your smartphone.

The cheapest systems cost around €100, rising to around €500. These will then need to be connected to your radiators, which can cost around €60 per radiator for each ‘smart valve’.

Another factor is the installation price, which is higher if wiring work is required. However many modern thermostat systems communicate via wifi. Installation by a professional costs from €100 to €200.

The relatively high purchase and installation cost of these systems should pay for itself over a period of years. If the estimated 15% saving is accurate, a household that spends €1,000 on heating and cooling costs will save €150 each year.

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