Home renovation grants simplified in France from today

It should now be easier to apply for help to install a new boiler, for example, but homeowners will need to act quickly

Some of the changes only apply until 2025
Published

A number of changes to France’s property renovation scheme MaPrimeRénov’ come into force today (May 15), as the government seeks to boost the number of applicants. 

A 40% drop in applications for funding during the first few months of 2024 was largely caused by changes made to the scheme in January.

Alongside temporarily reversing some of these changes, new rules for tradespeople working on projects have also been announced.

The changes should not only make applications easier but also potentially help homeowners save money on renovations. 

Here are the main changes:

An end to property audits for some renovations 

The installation of new boilers and other insulation work will no longer require a diagnostic de performance énergétique (DPE) or energy audit as part of their application. 

These audits – which are mandatory when selling or renting homes – were also required in all MaPrimeRénov’ applications to show the current energy inefficiency of a property. 

Until January 2025, however, this is no longer the case. The audits can cost around €200 and are not covered by funding, meaning this is a direct saving for all those who apply before this date.

Read more: Planning to replace your boiler at home in France? Now is a good time

More time for ‘worst’ properties to get renovations 

The government had planned on excluding ‘F’ and ‘G’ rated properties on the DPE – the lowest possible categories – from applying for MaPrimeRénov’ funding, from July 1. 

Due to backlash, however, this has been postponed until 2025. It means the six million or so properties that would have been ineligible now have more time to put in applications before it is too late. 

Properties in these categories may still be able to apply for other eco-renovation grants once these changes come into force but would not be able to use them to change boilers/heating systems or insulate their properties. 

Read more: Explainer: DPE survey and new energy audit for properties in France

‘Single-action’ insulation projects available again

There will also be a return of so-called ‘mono-gestes’ [one change only] projects under the scheme.

Before May 15, property owners seeking to finance insulation projects had to combine this with another renovation (usually a change of boiler).

Until 2025, however, they will be able to receive funding for these one-off projects on their own. 

Are more changes on the way in 2024? 

Another major issue affecting the uptake of the scheme is the low number of tradespeople qualified to carry out work on any qualifying renovations. 

To be eligible for funding, work has to be completed by a trader or company with reconnu garant pour l’environnement (RGE) certification.

Only around 10% of traders have such a qualification, however, as they say it can be complicated and expensive to obtain. 

Read more: Why it is hard to find people to do French eco-renovation grant work

The government has a number of plans to increase the number of RGE-certified workers, including:

  • Digitalising the application process 

  • Issuing the certificate based on the quality of previous work (validation des acquis par l’expérience, or VAE) as opposed to solely with training and paperwork

  • Creating a new standard quote (devis) for certain renovations

These changes are set to begin by the end of 2024, however as of May 15 have not been finalised.