3. Home Energy Efficiency in France
- Ma Prime Renov
- Boiler Replacement
- Roof Insulation
- Interest Free 'Eco' Loan
- Prêt Avance Rénovation (PAR)
- 'Eco' Mortgages/Loans
- Rate Relief/Local Council Assistance
- Home Improvement 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 has been phased out, and replaced by a grants system called MaPrimeRénov. It is also known as prime à la transition énergétique.
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.
The rules and the process are, however, complicated by two parallel systems of home improvement/energy efficiency grants that run alongside MaPrimeRénov, which is available to those on lower incomes and to landlords.
The first of these is called Ma Prime Rénov’ Sérénité which you can read about at Improvement Grants, particularly if you are on a modest income, or you are a landlord for whome these grants are designed.
In addition, there are also supplementary grants available through the energy suppliers (principally EDF), through a scheme called Certificats d’économies d’énergie (CEE). These grants are available to all, they can run into thousands of euros, and they are available to all. In order to benefit you need to contact your energy supplier.
ii. Eligible Persons
The MaPrimeRénov grant is available to homeowners, landlords and to co-ownership properties.
Homeowners - provided the property is their principal residence and the property was constructed at least 15 years ago. Second homes are not eligible.
Landlords - who are required to let the property as a principal residence for at least 5 years no later than 1 year from receipt of last payment of the grant, with no increase in the rent to an existing tenant as a result of the works. Landlords also need to consider, as an alternative grants available under the Ma Prime Rénov’ Sérénité grant scheme although the two schemes are being merged.
Co-ownership 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 and landlords, 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 and not all households are eligible for all types of work.
Four categories of household and income ceilings have been created, with each one given a colour coding, as follows:
- MaPrimeRénov - ménages aux ressources très modestes - Blue
- MaPrimeRénov - ménages aux ressources modestes - Yellow
- MaPrimeRénov - ménages aux ressources intermédiaire - Violet
- MaPrimeRénov - ménages aux ressources supérieures - Pink
There 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.
The thresholds for 2023 were increased by 6.3% over 2022.
Table: Maximum Income Ceilings 2023 – Ile-de-France
Table: Maximum Income Ceilings 2023 – Regions
Source: ANIL (government housing agency)
iv. Eligible Works
The list of eligible works and grant levels are shown in the tables below.
Since Oct 2023 the government is seeking to persuade households to undertake a substantial range of works in the property to secure a step-change in the level of energy efficiency. Priority is therefore being given to those undertaking package of works.
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 grant support is:
Bonus sortie de passoire, which implies a conventional annual primary energy consumption for heating, cooling and domestic hot water production, based on the living area of the house greater than or equal to 331 kWh/m2/year before the work eligible for the bonus is carried out and less than 331 kWh/m2/year after the work is carried out.
Bonus Bâtiment Basse Consommation which implies a conventional annual primary energy consumption for heating, cooling and domestic hot water production, based on the living area of the house greater than or equal to 91 kWh/m2/year before the work eligible for the bonus is carried out and less than 91 kWh/m2/year after carrying out the same work.
Project management - assistance à maîtrise d'ouvrage - which must respect certain conditions, notably a full before, during and after works service by the project manager.
Overall renovation grant - forfait rénovation globale - conditional on an improvement in energy efficiency of 55%.
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 grant.
v. Eligible Properties
The property must be at least 15 years old except for change of an oil fired boiler.
vi. Grant Levels
The maximum total grant depends on your income as follows, although as of Oct 2023 they are under revision:
- Blue -€11,000
- Yellow - €9,000
- Violet - €7,000
- Pink -€4,000
To these ceilings it is possible to add grants available through the CEE ( certificats d’économies d’énergie) grant although these grants are no longer widely available, except through EDF.
Total grants cannot exceed €70,000 over a 5-year period, subject to a substantial improvement in energy efficiency being realised. UPDATE Oct 2023.
For the same eligible work or services, the total amount of the grant, CEE certificates (CEE), and other grants may not result in a remaining outlay :
- less than 10% of the eligible expenditure of the project for a household with very modest resources;
- less than 25% of the eligible expenditure of the project for a household with modest resources;
- less than 40% of eligible project expenditure for a household with intermediate income;
- less than 60% of eligible project expenditure for a household with higher income.
An advance on the grant may be paid to owner-occupiers withe 'very modest resources', up to a limit of 90% of the estimated amount of the grant.
The application for an advance must be made before the works begin and be accompanied by an estimate from the builder doing the work, requesting an advance before commencement of works.
The table below shows the amounts available by type of household and works for the MaPrimeRénov grant. You will need to make separate enquiries to your energy supplier concerning CEE grants and levels vary.
Only those on the lowest income are entitled to the highest grants and those on the highest incomes are not eligible for most grants.
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 (Ma Prime Rénov’ Sérénité) rather than a MaPrimeRénov grant.
The figures below are for individual homes only; separate rules apply for co-ownership properties. Owners should contact their syndicat to discuss.
As we state above, not all works are available to households in the intermédiaire and supérieure income groups, but it is beyond the scope of these notes to detail each one.
As we report in our article Energy Efficiency Grant Steeplechase, the increase in the grant being neutralised by a reduction in other grants, a complicated process and the spiraling costs of the work.
Since 1st Jan 2023, high performance gas boiler will has no longer be eligible for assistance. Similarly there is no longer a grant for floor insulation. We consider the issue in more detail in our article Home Energy Efficiency Grants 2023.
The amounts below apply from 1st Apr 2023. Prior to this date, the amounts are slightly more generous.
|Type of Works||Ressources très modestes||Ressources modestes||Ressources intermédiaires||Ressources aisées||Cost Ceiling|
|Automatic Feed Wood/Biomass Burning Boiler||€10,000||€8,000||€4,000||N/A||€18,000|
|Manual Feed Wood/Biomass Burning Boiler||€8,000||€6,500||€3,000||N/A||€16,000|
|Pellet Burning Stove||€2,500||€2,000||€1,000||N/A||€5,000|
|Log Burning Stove/Cooker||€2,500||€2,000||€1,000||N/A||€4,000|
|Closed Hearth (Insert)||€2,500||€1,500||€800||N/A||€4,000|
|Solar Energy Space Heating||€10,000||€8,000||€4,000||N/A||€16,000|
|Solar Water Heating||€4,000||€3,000||€2,000||N/A||€7,000|
|Hybrid Solar Water/Space Heating||€2,500||€2,000||€1,000||N/A||€4,000|
|Heating Pump Geo/Solar||€10,000||€8,000||€4,000||N/A||€18,000|
|Air/Water Heating Pump||€4,000||€3,000||€2,000||N/A||€12,000|
|Hot Water Heating Pump||€1,200||€800||€400||N/A||€3,500|
|Connecting Equipment Heating/Cooling network||€1,200||€800||€400||N/A||€1,800|
|Removal of Oil Tank||€1,200||€800||€400||N/A||€4,000|
|Dual-flow controlled mechanical ventilation (VMC)||€2,500||€2,000||€1,500||N/A||€6,000|
|Thermal insulation of windows||€100/win||€80/win||€40/win||N/A||€1,000/win|
|Insulation of Flat Roof||€75m2||€60m2||€40m2||€15 m2||€180 m2|
|Insulation of roof/attic areas||€25m2||€20m2||€15m2||€7 m2||€75 m2|
|Internal wall insulation||€25m2||€20m2||€15m2||N/A||€70 m2|
|External wall insulation||€75m2l||€60m2||€40m2||N/A||€150 m2|
|Bonus sortie de passoire||€1,500||€1,500||€1,000||€500||N/A|
|Bonus Bâtiment Basse Consommation (BBC)||€1,500||€1,500||€1,000||€500||N/A|
In order to encourage a more comprehensive approach by households to improving energy efficiency, the government are directing more resources to single large grants for a package of improvements.
For those on higher incomes they are seeking to achieve this through the forfait rénovation globale block grant, whilst for those on lower incomes through the Ma Prime Rénov’ Sérénité improvement grant regime.
As a result, grants for single component works of improvement have been reduced.
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.
Due to the shortage of builders with this qualification, the government have agreed that for a period of two years from Jan 2021, builders without the status can apply for it on a project basis, called qualification-chantier, up to a maximum of three projects per builder, but which must be applied for each project.
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 France-Renov..
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/France-Renov. Indeed, if you are planning major works you are required to obtain professional support. Indeed, such is the complexity of the process that assistance is essential.
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 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 initiative is run in partnership with several private sector partners, eg, EDF, Engie, Energie Solidarité and Total, through the use ofcertificats d’économie s d’énergie. However, there are indications that apart from EDF, the private sector partners are not participating actively in the programme.
The grants are available under a programme called Coup de pouce économies d'énergie/chauffage, launched in 2017. The are cumulative with MaPrimeRénov so together they can make a significant grant contributions towards boiler replacement.
Although universal, the grant is means-tested, and the highest grants only available to those on the lowest incomes as follows:
**Table: Maximum Income Ceilings 2023
And the €7,613 or€5,797 for each additional person, as appropriate . The level of the grant depends on the type of new system installed and income threshold but can be €5,000 at the top end for replacement of an oil fired boiler for households above, and €4,000 for other households.
Since 1 March 2023, the signatories of the Coup de pouce économies d'énergie/chauffage charter have committed to higher minimum premium amounts, provided that the equipment installed is a water/water heat pump or a combined solar system to replace an individual coal, oil or gas boiler.
The minimum premium amount is €5,000.
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.
You also need to be certain that your home is suitable for a renewal energy source, as many households have found that their heating costs increase with the replacement system.
The process is complicated and advice from FAIRE/France-Renov is recommended.
There has also been 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.
Once again it was part of the certificats d’économie s d’énergie programme run through the energy suppliers.
Assistance was at the rate per m2, depending upon income. It is €12m2 for those on the lowest incomes and €10m2 for others.
This scheme ended July 2022.
You can read our article on CEE assistance for roof insulation at Free Roof Insulation to your French Home.
3.4. Éco-prêt à taux zéro
An interest free loan (l’éco-prêt à taux zéro/Mon éco-PTZ Prime Réno) 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 20 years where at least three elements of work are undertaken.
Eligible works include loft and wall insulation, double glazing, space heating, 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.
The minimum level of energy performance must be either to achieve an annual energy consumption of less than 331 kWh/m2 or an improvement in energy performance of at least 35%.
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 depends on the number of elements of work undertaken as follows:
Up to €15,000 for a single action from the list of eligible works, except for the replacement of windows, in which case the ceiling is €7,000; Up to €25,000 for two of the seven eligible actions; Up to €30,000 if you carry out three or more of the seven eligible actions and for work that achieves a minimum overall energy performance; Up to €50,000 for work that achieves a minimum energy gain of 35% and enables a dwelling to be lifted from an energy rating of F or G; Up to €10,000 for a septic tank alone.
These thresholds are for supply and installation.
If you have already received a loan, but you wish to do additional work it is possible to do so, up to the maximum thresaholds above, provided the advance is made within 5 years of the initial advance.
If the property was constructed after 1948 you will be required to have a energy performance study of your property undertaken.
You should approach France-Renov, 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.
Despite the more generous loans now available the repayments may remain too high for many low-income households.
In order to assist such households a mortgage called ' Prêt Avance Rénovation (PAR)' has been introduced by the government.
For those over 60 years of age, it is equivalent to a lifetime mortgage, repaid on the sale of the property or through inheritance. For those under 60, interest only is payable, with the capital paid on sale or death.
There are no set-up fees and the borrower need not take out mortgage protection insurance.
The loan is guaranteed by a mortgage taken on the property, combined with a public guarantee provided by the State for 75% of the amount of the loan granted, in the event that the sale of the property does not cover it.
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.
i. New Homes
There is between 50% and 100% exemption from the taxe foncière for 5 years, for those new homes constructed 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.
You need to discuss with France Rénov', ideally before you commence the works as the rules are complicated.
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 exemption is at the rate of 50% to 100% for a period of up to 5 years.
Once again you would need to discuss with official advisors at France Rénov'.
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.
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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