French News

Building & Renovation

New Framework for Home Energy Efficiency

Wednesday 05 October 2011

The French government has clearly signalled their intention on home energy efficiency for new homes.

New energy standards that come into force on 1st January 2013 impose a far stronger standard than current regulations.

The Reglementation Thermique (RT) 2012 requires that the energy consumption of a residential property must be less than 50 kWh/m² per year, although this figure varies by locality and altitude within the range 40kWh/m² to 65kWh/m².

The current regulation 'RT2005' only imposes an energy efficiency requirement of between 150-230 kWh/m² per year.

In addition to the new efficiency standard that must be adopted there are also tough new control procedures being put in place that are going to add further costs to the construction of a new home.

All planning applications will need to be preceded by a feasibility study that provides justification for the energy system that is to be used in the property.

The report must cover space heating, water heating, ventilation, cooling, and lighting.

It must indicate the reasons why the system has been chosen, the estimated level of kWh level of energy consumption, as well as the annual cost.

The planning application must then be accompanied by a signed statement confirming that the requirements of RT2012 concerning the heating, cooling, lighting and thermal performance of the building have been met.

Post Inspections

Once works have been completed then an independent verification of the works must take place, either by an accredited agency or professional surveyor.

The surveyor must certify that the works have been completed in accordance with RT2012, and that there has been compliance with the energy proposals that were submitted.

The surveyors who will undertake these control inspections are the private sector diagnostiqueurs who currently have responsibility for the statutory survey reports on the sale of property.

This is the first time that France has formalised a system of post-inspection of newly constructed dwellings.

France is adopting a system of building control by stealth.

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