3. Home Energy Efficiency in France

  1. General Grants
  2. Boiler Replacement
  3. Roof Insulation
  4. Interest Free 'Eco' Loan
  5. 'Eco' Mortgages/Loans
  6. Rate Relief/Local Council Assistance
  7. Home Improvement Grants

3.1. General Grants

i. What is 'MaPrimeRénov’?

Until the end of 2019, the main form of financial assistance for home energy conservation was a tax credit called the Crédit d’Impôt de la Transition Énergétique - CITE.

Since 2019, this tax credit is being phased out, to be replaced by a grants system called MaPrimeRénov.

One of the major changes is that the grant is paid at the end of the works, and not later following submission of your income tax return. It is also possible to obtain interim progress payments.

Until January 2021, the new grants system will sit alongside the tax credit system, as we outlined in our Newsletter article Financial Assistance for Home Energy Conservation 2020.

The following guidance note, therefore, explains the system that will operate from January 2021.

ii. Eligible Persons

The grant is available to all homeowners, provided the property is their principal residence and the property was constructed over two years ago. Holiday homeowners are not eligible.

Landlords are also eligible, and in a break with past practice, there are no rent controls imposed on landlords, although assistance is up to a maximum of three rental properties.

Also eligible are owners living in co-ownership properties (copropriétaires), where the grant is awarded through the managing agents, the syndicat,. Assistance is available regardless of the individual financial circumstances of the co-owners, both occupants and landlords. To be eligible the co-owners will have to carry out works that create an energy saving of at least 35% and they must be essentially composed of main residences (75% minimum).

Nevertheless, for individual households, although the grant is a universal one, the level of the grant and the eligible works are a function of household income and the improvements in energy efficiency that are obtained. Inevitably, priority is being given to those on a low income living in properties with low energy efficiency performance.

Four income ceilings have been created, with each one given a colour coding, as follows:

  • MaPrimeRénov - Blue
  • MaPrimeRénov - Yellow
  • MaPrimeRénov - Violet
  • MaPrimeRénov - Pink

The are different income ceilings for the Ile-de-France and the rest of the country. The income test is your Revenu fiscal de référence (RFR), as stated on your income tax notice.

The income thresholds and the package available is the same for both owner-occupiers and landlords.

Table: Maximum Income Ceilings – Ile-de-France

Household Size Blue Yellow Violet Pink
1 €20,593 €25,068 €38,184 >€38,184
2 €30,225 €36,792 €56,130 >€56,130
3 €36,297 €44,188 €67,585 >€67,585
4 €42,381 €51,597 €79,041 >€79,041
5 €48,488 €59,026 €90,496 >€90,496

Table: Maximum Income Ceilings – Regions

Household Size Blue Yellow Violet Pink
1 €14,879 €19,074 €29,148 >€29,148
2 €21,760 €27,896 €42,848 >€42,848
3 €26,170 €33,547 €51,592 >€51,592
4 €30,572 €39,192 €60,336 >€60,336
5 €34,993 €44,860 €69,081 >€69,081

iv. Eligible Works and Grant Levels

The list of eligible works and grant levels are shown in the tables below.

Broadly speaking, the grant provides assistance towards works of insulation, heating and ventilation. There is also financial support for an energy audit, which in many cases will be compulsory.

In addition to grants for by type of works, there are also additional sums available to give priority to properties with a low energy rating and to encourage others to undertake a global approach to energy efficiency.

This additional support is:

  • a grant (bonus sortie de passoire) when the work allows a dwelling to be brought out of an energy efficiency rating F or G;
  • a grant (bonus Bâtiment Basse Consommation) for those who achieve an energy efficiency rating of B or A.

Households can also to benefit from a grant of €150 if they are accompanied by a professional (Assistance à maîtrise d’ouvrage), who must not be from the company undertaking the works.

The installation must meet specified performance standards so it important to discuss these standards with your installer to make sure the works comply with the regulations.

The installation of thermal insulation in an attic space in order to create new living space does not create eligibility to the tax credit.

Grant Levels

The maximum total grant is €20,000 over a 5-year period.

In addition, however, the grant can be combined with certain other forms of financial assistance, notably the Certificats d’économies d’énergie (CEE). We published an article on CEE which you can find at CEE.

Accordingly, the table below shows the amounts available by type of household for both the MaPrimeRénov grant and the CEE grant, although the level of the CEE grant does vary, so the sums given are indicative only.

In no case can the combined grants exceed 90% of the costs of the works, and for many households the actual level of support will be lower.

Separately from these arrangements, households on modest incomes whose home needs major renovation can access the home improvement grants system, details of which you can find at Home Improvement Grants. Landlords are also eligible.

Those 'Blue' or 'Yellow' households who are considering renovation of their property, including substantial energy efficiency works, need to consider making application for a home improvement grant, rather than a MaPrimeRénov grant.

The figures below are for individual homes only; separate rules apply for co-owership properties. Owners should contact their syndicat to discuss.

Table: Grant Level – Blue Household

Type of Works Grant CEE Total
Bonus sortie de passoire €1,500 - €1,500
Bonus Bâtiment Basse Consommation (BBC) €1,500 - €1,500
Energy audit €500 - €500
Pellet boiler €10,000 €4,364 €14,364
Geothermal or solar heat pump €10,000 €4,364 €14,364
Solar space heating €8,000 €4,364 €12,364
Wood space heating boiler €8,000 €4,364 €12,364
Air-to-water heat pump €4,000 €4,364 €8,364
Solar water heater €4,000 €275 €4,275
Pellet stove €3,000 €873 €3,873
Log stove €2,500 €873 €3,373
Closed Hearth (Insert) €2,000 €873 €2,873
Hybrid solar equipment €2,500 €251 €2,751
High-performance gas boiler €1,200 €1,309 €2,509
Heating/Cooling network Up to €1,200 €764 €1,964
Thermodynamic water heater €1,200 €168 €1,368
Removal of an oil tank €1,200 - €1,200
Air-to-air heat pump - €900 €900
High-performance thermostat - €165 €165
High-performance electric radiators (replacing convector heaters) - €110/rad €110/rad
Dual-flow controlled mechanical ventilation (VMC) €4,000 €441 €4,441
Single flow mechanical ventilation - €342 €342
Thermal insulation of windows €100/win €79/win €179/win
External wall insulation €75m2l €37m2 €112m2
Insulation of Flat Roof €75m2 €21m2 €96m2
Internal wall insulation €25m2 €37m2 €62m2
Insulation of roof areas of attic €25m2 €22m2 €47m2
Insulation of attic floor space - €22m2 €22m2
Floor Insulation - €22m2 €22m2

Table: Grant Level – Yellow Household

Type of Works Grant CEE Total
Bonus sortie de passoire €1,500 - €1,500
Bonus Bâtiment Basse Consommation (BBC) €1,500 - €1,500
Energy audit €400 - €400
Pellet boiler €8,000 €4,364 €12,364
Geothermal or solar heat pump €8,000 €4,364 €12,364
Solar space heating €6,500 €4,364 €10,864
Log boiler €6,500 €4,364 €10,864
Air-to-water heat pump €3,000 €4,364 €7,364
Solar water heater €3,000 €137 €3,137
Pellet stove €2,500 €873 €3,373
Log stove €2,000 €873 €2,873
Closed hearth (Insert) €1,200 €873 €2,073
Hybride Solar €2,000 €125 €2,125
High-performance gas boiler €800 €1,309 €2,109
Heating/Cooling Network Up to €800 €764 €1,564
Thermodynamic water heater €800 €84 €884
Removal of oil tank €800 - €800
Air-to-air heat pump - €450 €450
High-performance thermostat - €165 €165
High-performance electric radiators replacing convector heaters - €110/rad €110/rad
Dual-flow controlled mechanical ventilation (VMC) €3,000 €220 €3,220
Single flow mechanical ventilation - €171 €171
Thermal insulation of windows €80/win €39/win €119/win
External Wall insulation €60m2 €18m2 €78m2
Flat Roof insulation €60m2 €11m2 €71m2
Internal wall insulation €20m2 €18m2 €38m2
Insulation of attic roof €20m2 €22m2 €42m2
Insulation of attic space - €22m2 €22m2
Floor insulation - €22m2 €22m2

Table: Grant Level – Violet Household

Type of Works Grant CEE Total
Bonus sortie de passoire €1,000 - €1,000
Bonus Bâtiment Basse Consommation (BBC) €1,000 - €1,000
Energy Audit €300 - €300
Pellet Boiler €4,000 €2,727 €6,727
Geothermal or solar heat pump €4,000 €2,727 €6,727
Solar space heating €4,000 €2,727 €6,727
Log boiler €3,000 €2,727 €5,727
Air-to-water heat pump €2,000 €2,727 €4,727
Solar water heater €2,000 €137 €2,137
Pellet stove €1,500 €545 €2,045
Log Burner €1,000 €545 €1,545
Closed hearth (insert) €600 €545 €1,145
Hybrid solar €1,000 €125 €1,125
High-performance gas boiler - €655 €655
Heating/Cooling network €400 €491 €891
Thermodynamic water heater €400 €84 €484
Removal of oil tank €400 - €400
Air-to-air heat pump - €450 €450
High-performance thermostat - €165 €165
High-performance electric radiators (replacing convector heaters) - €55/rad €55/rad
Dual-flow controlled mechanical ventilation (VMC) €2,000 €220 €2,220
Single flow mechanical ventilation - €171 €171
Thermal insulation of windows €40/ win €39/win €79/win
External wall insulation €40m2 €18m2 €58m2
Flat roof insulation €40m2 €11m2 €51m2
Internal wall insulation €15m2 €18m2 €33m2
Insulation of attic roof €15m2 €11m2 €26m2
Insulation of attic space - €11m2 €11m2
Floor insulation - €11m2 €11m2

Table: Grant Level – Pink Household

Type of Works Grant CEE Total
Bonus sortie de passoire €500 - €500
Bonus Bâtiment Basse Consommation (BBC) €500 - €500
Energy Audit - - -
Pellet Boiler - €2,727 €2,727
Geothermal or solar thermal heat pump - €2,727 €2,727
Solar Space Heating - €2,727 €2,727
Wood boiler - €2,727 €2,727
Air-to-water heat pump - €2,727 €2,727
Solar water heater €3,000 €137 €3,137
Pellet Stove - €545 €545
Log Burner - €545 €545
Closed hearth (Insert) - €545 €545
Hybrid solar €125 125
High-performance gas boiler - €655 €655
Heating/Cooling network - €491 €491
Thermodynamic water heater - €84 €84
Removal of oil tank - - -
Air-to-air heat pump - €450 €450
High-performance thermostat - €165 €165
High-performance electric radiators (replacing convector heaters) - €55/rad €55/rad
Dual-flow controlled mechanical ventilation (VMC) - €220 €220
Single flow mechanical ventilation - €171 €171
Thermal insulation of windows - €39/win €39/win
External wall insulation €15m2l €18m2 €33m2
Flat roof insulation €15m2 €11m2 €26m2
Insulation of internal walls €7m2 €18m2 €25m2
Insulation of attic roof €7m2 €11m2 €18m2
Insulation of attic space - €11m2 €11m2
Floor Insulation - €11m2 €11m2

vi. Registered Builder

The project must be undertaken in its entirety by a registered builder.

These companies must also have the qualification label RGE - Reconnu Garant de l’Environnement. This is most important.

In no case would you be eligible for the tax credit if you purchased the materials yourself, or you undertook the installation works.

vii. Application Procedure

You can make application on-line at MaPrimeRénov.

A guide (in French) on how to open an account and make an on-line application can be found at Guide MaPrimeRénov.

You would be best advised to contact your local public, free renovation advisory service, FAIRE.

If you consider you need English language support, then contact us at editor@french-property.com. and we will endeavour to put you in contact with a specialist service provider.

As part of the process you are likely to be required to have an energy audit undertaken.


3.2. Boiler Replacement

Separately, on a means-tested basis it is possible to obtain 100% financial assistance for the replacement of an oil or gas-fired boiler for a sustainable form of heating, such as heat pump or a condensing boiler, wood burner or solar heating. The assistance includes the labour cost.

The assistance has been available under a programme called Coup de pouce économies d'énergie, launched in 2017, and which is now known as prime à la conversion chaudière.

The initiative is run in partnership with several private sector partners, eg, EDF, Engie, Energie Solidarité and Total, through the use of certificats d’économies d’énergie.

As with all energy conservation works, be careful about approaches over the telephone or on-line from companies who appear to offer the works for a negligible sum, particularly through the use of certificats d’économies d’énergie.

To be eligible for the maximum support, the income thresholds depend on the size of the household. In the Ile-de-France the maximum limit to quality is €35,510 for a couple and €26,923 in the provinces. Above these levels a support is this available, up to €2,500, less for a wood burner.

This assistance is available with other forms of support, which can be illustrated below:

A couple having an annual income of €26,000 decide to replace their oil-fired boiler for a heat pump, costing €12,000, of which €2,000 is labour.

They would be eligible for €4,000 under the programme prime à la conversion des chaudières, as well as nearly €4,000 from the housing renewal agency Anah under the programme Habiter Mieux, and around €1,200 tax credit under CITE, above.

That leaves the couple with around €2,800 to fund themselves, but they can obtain an interest free loan to meet the cost.

Administration of the programme will be undertaken by the partners, who are all effectively competing for your business. So it is possible to consider several offers from different suppliers, although all offers will not be available in all areas.

Under the Coup de pouce programme it is also possible to obtain support for insulation of the roof-space and floor insulation, on a means-tested basis.

The process is complicated and advice from FAIRE is recommended.

3.3. Roof Insulation

There is also assistance under the Coup de pouce économies d'énergie programme referred to above for assistance with roof insulation, with the same maximum income thresholds that apply.

Assistance is at the rate per m2, depending upon income.

Once again, you should approach FAIRE

The same caution about telephone and on-line offers using the certificats d’économies d’énergie noted above for boilers equally apply to roof insulation.

You can read our article on CEE assistance for roof insulation at Free Roof Insulation to your French Home.

3.4. Interest Free 'Eco' Loan

An interest free loan (l’éco-prêt à taux zéro) for the cost of works of home energy conservation and the installation of a septic tank is available.

There is no test of resources in determining eligibility for the loan.

Both owner-occupiers and landlords are eligible, although the property must be occupied as a principal residence. If the property has not been used as a principal residence, this condition must be fulfilled within six months of completion of the works.

The duration of the loan is normally 10 years, but can be up to 15 years where at least three elements of work are undertaken.

Eligible works include loft insulation and other types of work as listed above for tax credits, as well as renewal of a septic tank system.

In order to obtain the loan, one of three conditions must be fulfilled, depending on the type and age of property.

You must either:

  • Achieve a minimum level of energy performance standard, called a performance énergétique globale ; or
  • Undertake the installation of a septic tank system; or
  • Realise the works in connection within an area based housing renovation programme.

Since 1st March 2019, it is no longer is it necessary to undertake at least two elements of work, which was called a bouquet de travaux.

The amount of the loan is up to €15,000 for one element of work (€7,000 for double glazing), €25,000 for two elements of energy conservation and up to €30,000 for three or more. It is up to €10,000 for a septic tank alone, but this sum must be included within the maximum of €30,000.

Eligible properties are those constructed before 1st January 1990.

If the property was constructed after 1948 you will be required to have a energy performance study of your property undertaken.

You should approach FAIRE, or alternatively direct to your bank, who administer the loans.

You will be required to use a registered builder, so DIY projects are not eligible. The builder must also have the qualification label RGE - Reconnu Garant de l’Environnement.

You have three years to complete the works, following consent to the loan.

It is possible to be granted a tax credit for the works, as well as take advantage of the tax free loan.


3.5. 'Eco' Mortgages/Loans

There are mortgages or unsecured loans available through the high street banks for works of home energy conservation.

The generic term used for the loans is l'éco prêt, although the banks also have their own particular terms.

This finance is not subject to any test of resources, although the bank will wish to be satisfied that you are creditworthy.

You will also normally required to hold a particular form of savings account, called a Livret Développement Durable - LDD, which should then enable you to borrow at a reasonably attractive rate of interest.

You would need to make enquiries to your French bank but you can read more generally about the mortgages in our Guide to French Mortgages.


3.6. Rate Relief/Local Council Assistance

i. New Homes

There is partial (50%) or full exemption from the taxe foncière for up to 5 years, for those new homes constructed since 1st January 2009 to an energy efficiency standard that is higher than the regulations currently in force.

This exemption is at the discretion of the local authorities, although it is widely adopted.

The exemption is also cumulative with the general exemption from the taxe foncière for two years granted to owners of all new homes, provided completion is notified to the tax authority within 90 days of completion. This would mean you would be exempt from the tax for seven years!

You would need need to produce bills and details of the works, as well as a report indicating the level of energy performance achieved by the property.

ii. Older Homes

Local authorities are also permitted to exempt from the taxe foncière those older homes that have had important energy conservation works carried out to them.

This exemption applies to those dwellings built before 1989, whether your main home or any property you may let out.

It is also on condition that the expenditure in the previous year on such works exceeds €10,000, or 15,000 over the previous three years. The cost of labour is excluded from this calculation, although it does include VAT.

The exemption is at the rate of 50% to 100% for a period of up to five years.

Once again you would need to discuss with your local tax office.

iii. Loans and Grants

There are also a surprising number of local, departmental, or regional councils who offer grants or loans towards energy saving equipment, notably towards the installation of solar panels.

Check with your local mairie in the first instance, or the web site of your Conseil Régional.

Be aware that some other assistance you may receive, such as a national grant, may be offset against the assistance you receive from the local council, although not in all cases, notably with rate relief.

3.7. Home Improvement Grants

Finally, if you may be eligible for a home improvement grant, works of energy conservation can be undertaken as part of those works. Indeed, in most cases such work will be a condition of the grant.

You can read more in our Guide to Home Improvement Grants.


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