French eco-renovation grants increase as price of materials rises

Funding available through the MaPrimeRénov’ scheme will rise from €15,000 to €25,000 but homeowners carrying out works will need to keep a more detailed record

The money available for home eco-renovations through the MaPrimeRénov’ scheme is increasing this year
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From February 1, ceilings on the work that can be financed by government grants under France’s MaPrimeRénov' home renovation grant scheme will increase.

Minister for Ecological Transition Christophe Béchu said in a statement that the move was “to take account of inflation and to encourage comprehensive renovations".

Energy renovation on communal areas of shared ownership blocks, which falls under the MaPrimeRénov’ Copropriétés scheme, will see the maximum cost of work that can be financed rise from €15,000 to €25,000.

The MaPrimeRénov’ Sérénité scheme, which is intended for low-income homeowners who carry out renovation work that results in an energy saving of at least 35%, will see its ceiling raised from €30,000 to €35,000.

Finally, aid for comprehensive renovation (rénovations globales) for households with middle and higher incomes will be raised to €10,000 and €5,000 respectively.

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

Another change this year is that as of January 1, MaPrimeRénov' will no longer subsidise the purchase of gas boilers including those with very high energy performance.

The government said the decision was made "with the objective of gradually reducing our dependence on fossil fuels".

The MaPrimeRénov' scheme was set up in 2020 and is managed by the National Housing Agency (Anah). It has a budget of €2.5billion for 2023.

Read more: Grant to renovate French homes is extended with a bigger budget

It is now the main state aid for renovating properties to make them more energy efficient, with almost 1.5 million households benefiting since its launch.

However, the scheme has attracted criticism in recent months for being overly complex, slow to pay out and difficult for people to contact.

The official consumer watchdog, the Défenseur des droits, revealed last October that it has received nearly 500 complaints by applicants since MaPrimeRénov' was launched, and said the issues had caused grave difficulties for the most vulnerable people.

Why you now need a house ‘logbook’ for energy renovations

This comes alongside the news that homeowners looking to carry out work on their property to boost its energy performance will now have to record the changes in a logbook.

The book, called a carnet d'information du logement or CIL, should track details of all significant energy improvement works carried out since January 1, 2023, when it became mandatory.

Read more: Energy audits, tax, grants: What is new for property in France in 2023

Renovation work considered to have a significant impact on energy performance includes:

  • thermal insulation of roofs, external walls, low floors and doors leading outside;

  • the installation, regulation or replacement of heating or cooling systems, including any associated energy-efficient ventilation systems;

  • the installation of heating or domestic hot water equipment using a renewable energy source.

All new residential buildings and extensions built from January 1, 2023 must also come with a CIL.

The aim of the book is to let future buyers see what work has been carried out on a property to enhance energy performance and what remains to be done.

It is in addition to the mandatory diagnoses required when a property is put up for sale or rent, including the diagnostic de performance énergétique (DPE) for energy performance.

The onus is on builders to convey details for the logbook when they finish the renovation work.

"It is a good thing for tenants, for people who buy, but it is also good for us, the building companies," David Morales, vice-president of Capeb, an association representing tradespersons, told BFM.

"It is not always easy, once the interior is inhabited, to see what has been done or not done without making holes everywhere.”

Details in the logbook might include: a list and characteristics of the materials used when they have a direct impact on energy performance; operating, maintenance and servicing instructions for relevant equipment installed; an energy audit of the property.

Dates and a description of the work carried out should be included.

For new buildings, the information booklet contains: surface plans of the property; diagrams and descriptions of the water, electricity, gas and ventilation systems; and operating, maintenance and servicing instructions for the works that have a direct impact on the energy performance of the dwelling.

It is the owner or building manager’s responsibility to update the logbook, and it must be passed on to new owners when the property is sold.

Depending on the owner's choice, the CIL can take the form of a notebook, a binder or a digital document.

The logbook is one of a raft of measures introduced as part of the 2021 Loi climat et résilience.

It applies to shared ownership residential buildings (copropriétés) as well as houses and flats.

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