It’s a great paradox. The energetic renovation of buildings was the subject of a rare consensus during the presidential campaign, with all candidates agreeing that more and more needed to be done. Government communication was also essential, underlining the undeniable success of the MaPrimeRénov’ system, with 644,073 files saved last year.
→ ANALYSIS. Energy renovation: the unexpected success of Ma Prime Renov’
But on the ground the tone is different. In an open letter sent to Prime Minister Jean Castex on March 31, nine professional associations and federations warn against the “Strong decline” observed ” since a few months “ in the energy renovation market. They are concerned about the decline in aid, especially for those at risk of being placed in a precarious situation.
More “thumbs up”
The numbers speak for themselves. According to data from the Ministry of Ecological Transition, about 60,000 attics were insulated in France every month in the first half of 2021. But since June last year, the monthly rate has fallen to less than 5,000 sites.
“More than 13,000 jobs have been destroyed in the fledgling insulation sector in six months and companies that had invested in equipping themselves with high-quality machines are on the verge of bankruptcy,” explains Édouard Barthès, president of Symbiote (multi-branch union of industries and operators of the energy transition).
Two factors are responsible for this situation. First, last year, there was the early termination of the famous “thumbs up” make it possible to carry out works from as little as 1 €. The government justified its decision by the increase in corporate scams and poor workmanship “eco-offenders” often made for the sole purpose of earning bonuses.
There is also a second factor. A large part of the renovation work is financed with energy-saving certificates (CEE), which have become somewhat less attractive.
This complex mechanism means that electricity, gas and fuel suppliers (EDF, Engie, but also Leclerc and Carrefour, etc.) charge for part of the equipment and work that makes it possible to consume less energy, such as purchasing a new boiler. or installing insulation panels.
→ REREAD. Energy suppliers have to pay more to renovate homes
Over the years, EWCs have become the mainstay of home renovation. For individuals alone, they represent an envelope of 3.1 billion euros in 2022, compared to the 2 billion included in the budget for MaPrimeRénov’.
Obligations spread over time
But today energy suppliers called “obligated” in administrative jargon putting the foot on the brake after accelerating. “They have bought far more certificates than expected in recent years and can therefore afford to slow the pace a bit while staying within government targets,” underlines Bastien Resse, strategy and external relations director of the consultancy firm Enalia.
Nevertheless, in the period from 2022 to 2025, the volume of ESCs intended for households is expected to increase by 17%. “But the government gave in to pressure from energy suppliers who threatened to raise prices if they didn’t get the transfer of their obligations from one period to another. As a result, half of the target for 2025 has already been achieved, so as many projects that are not being implemented.” says Danyel Dubreuil, spokesperson for the Rénovons! initiative, which unites several associations, including Secours Catholique.
A higher remainder
Individuals now face increased out-of-pocket costs, forcing many of them to delay their projects. “For a €20,000 insulation project, a very modest household would need to take in more than €9,500 on average, compared to €1,750 in the spring of 2021,” assures the president of Symbiote. And the bill should rise further on May 1 with the end of the “boost” intended for the insulation of walls and floors. For example, the aid is reduced by one third on average.
†The government has chosen to concentrate support for heat changes, especially for heat pumps. But a more efficient system is pointless if the living space is not insulated beforehand.” emphasizes Audrey Zermati, Strategy Director for the Effy Group.
Professionals are now calling for the creation of an additional volume of bonds, which would focus on the most modest.
Countdown for owners
According to the government, there are about 4.8 million homes considered to be thermal sieves, with the F and G labels, issued by the Energy Performance Diagnosis (DPE).
From August 25, 2022, owners of houses of category F or G will no longer be able to increase the rent.
As of September 1, 2022, an energy audit (and no longer just an ECD) with the work to be performed will be required to put up an F or G classified property for sale.
From January 1, 2023, houses with a consumption of more than 450 kWh per m2 and per year, so part of category G, may no longer be rented out and tenants can demand work.
in 2025, the rental ban will cover the rest of the accommodations classified as G, then F in 2028 and E in 2034.