An interest-free loan of up to €30,000 is available to owner-occupiers and landlords for works of home energy conservation.
Although in recent years the French government have been cutting back on the tax credits available for home energy conservation, an interest free loan remains in place.
The loan is called l’éco-prêt à taux zéro.
In addition to there being no interest payable there are no maximum income restrictions on eligibility. You will merely be required to demonstrate to the bank that you are able to meet the repayment obligations.
In addition, the property must be your principal residence and built prior to 1st Jan 1990.
Landlords landlords are also eligible, provided the property is occupied as a principal residence by the tenant. If the property has not been used as a the main home 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, wall insulation, energy efficient space and water heating, double glazing, as well as renewal of a septic tank system. These works must comply with specified minimum standards of performance.
In order to obtain the loan, one of three conditions must be fulfilled, depending on the type and age of property.
You must either:
- Undertake at least two elements of work eg, double glazing and roof insulation; or
- Achieve a minimum energy performance standard; or
- Undertake the installation of a septic tank system.
The amount of the loan is up to €20,000 for two elements of works 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 overall cap of €30,000.
In order to proceed, you might be best advised need to make enquiries to your local renovation advisory service at Rénovation info service, or alternatively, discuss direct with your bank who administer the loans. You should not commence the eligible works until the loan has been approved or it will invalidate the application.
You will be required to use a registered builder, who 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, about which you can read more in our pages below.