Is there any aid to help replace old draughty windows at French home?

We look at the help available for upgrading single-glazed windows

Aid is available of up to €100 per window
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Reader question: Someone told me you can receive government subsidies for replacing old windows with new ones in a house in France at €80 per window. Is this correct?

It is correct that as part of the government’s MaPrimeRénov’ scheme – which helps homeowners conduct eco-friendly renovations to their house – it is possible to receive aid to help install more energy-efficient windows. And, you could receive more than €80 per window.

The amount you qualify for varies based on factors including household income, the number of people living in the property and where it is located (Île-de-France or the rest of the country).

You can use an online calculator like the one here to check your eligibility.

However readers have reported issues with claiming because they signed to get work done with a firm before receiving approval under the scheme

Read more: Couple warn of French renovation grant ‘frustrations’

For windows, there are three levels of aid, meaning all but the highest earners can benefit from the scheme:

  • €40 per window for households with a standard income (revenus intermédiaires)

  • €80 per window for households with a low income (revenus modestes)

  • €100 per window for households with a very low income (revenus très modestes)

There is no limit on the number of windows that you can replace using the scheme in your home as long as all the windows are eligible.

As MaPrimeRénov’ is a scheme for eco-friendly renovations, replacing the windows must come with an ecological benefit.

Therefore, it is only possible to upgrade single-glazed windows to double-glazed or triple-glazed windows in order to benefit from the scheme.

On top of this, the windows must have minimum insulation levels for both thermal transmittance (Uw or transmission thermique) and solar factor (Sw or facteur solaire).

For windows and patio doors, the minimum levels are: Uw ≤ 1.3 W/m².K (watts per square metre kelvin) and Sw ≥ 0.3, or Uw ≤ 1.7 W/m².K and Sw ≥ 0.36.

For roof windows, the minimum levels are: Uw ≤ 1.5 W/m².K and Sw ≤ 0.36.

Read more: How do I dispose of old fioul oil if change heating system in France?

As always with the MaPrimeRenov’ scheme, you must use an RGE (Reconnu Garant de l'Environnement) certified tradesperson – you can use the official directory here to find one near you.

Remember also that the scheme only applies to main residences that are at least 15 years old - meaning you cannot use it for work conducted on a second home or a new-build house.

Other aid schemes are also available, including a reduced rate of 5.5% VAT for replacing single with double or triple glazing, and a zero-interest eco loan. A longer list of all aids you can apply for when replacing windows can be found here.

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