Heatwaves: France’s housing minister backs grants to help cool homes

The new minister is ‘in favour’ of extending financial aid for projects to cool properties down, taking the lead from France’s overseas territories

A woman fanning herself in a house looking too hot
The new housing minister is in favour of providing homeowners with more financial aid to help cool their homes in France
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Homeowners in France could soon receive increased eco-renovation grants to help protect their home from heatwaves with the new housing minister saying he is ‘in favour’ of the idea.

“I think that what must change, is how we include this heatwave problem into how we adapt our housing,” said Patrice Vergriete to FranceInter, who was appointed housing minister in the recent government reshuffle.

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Currently, homeowners can receive financial support for eco-friendly renovations via the MaPrimeRénov' scheme, but this is usually designed to help protect homes from the cold, including via insulation work, heating, or better ventilation.

However, in France’s overseas territories, the grants are typically used to help protect homes from the heat. This includes projects such as the installation of ventilated cladding, individual solar water heaters, and solar protection systems for walls and windows, such as horizontal sun screens or slats.

These changes can help reduce interior temperatures by 2-5C.

Read more: MaPrimeRenov: How to claim grant for energy upgrades in French home

Read more: What is France Rénov’ aid scheme – can I use it to renovate my house?

“What if we extended this scheme?” Mr Vergriete asked. “What if we used the experience of the overseas territories and shared it across mainland France? I would be in favour of that.”

This idea has already been suggested in a Senate report, published last July.

It has also been welcomed by the trade association Actibaie, which represents building companies that provide doors, gates, shutters and awnings.

Hervé Lamy, Actibaie general delegate, told Le Figaro: “The government has clearly understood the urgent need to deal with increasing heatwaves, such as the one that recently affected France.

“This is a first step in the right direction. If the feedback is good, [the idea] should also be extended to other schemes such as the Energy Savings Certificates (CEE) and reduced VAT,” he said.

Mr Lamy said that installing blinds and shutters was a particularly effective way to reduce indoor temperatures during the summer months, and protect homes from direct sunlight and heat.

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