Energy Saving Certificates (CEEs) were created by the POPE law - Act 2005-781 of 13 July, 2005 which set out the general lines of France's energy policy.
Through this law, the government obliges energy suppliers (the “obligated parties”) to make energy savings. The obligated parties are then incentivised by a three-year quota - calculated on their volume sales by kWh and energy type - to actively promote energy efficiency to their customers. Obligated parties must show in their application for certificates that they have played an active and incentivising role. The quota is stated in kWh of final energy “cumac” (i.e. cumulative over the lifetime of the product discounted to present value).
There are three ways for obligated parties to fulfil their quota:
To facilitate matters, the government has produced standardised forms for the most common energy saving projects. These are broken down by sector (residential, offices, industrial, transport, networks) and define flat-rate energy savings in kWh cumac for common projects and the duration of the projects.
Energy savings made outside the standardised projects are classed as specific projects.
The promulgation of the Law on Energy Transition and Green Growth of 17 August, 2015 marked a new phase of the Energy Savings Certificate system. This law introduced a new obligation for energy and fuel suppliers to help low-income households carry out energy saving work. Rules and regulations for the new obligations to help households in energy poverty were published in the French Official Journal on 31 December, 2015.
Obligated parties’ individual obligations are calculated by multiplying the classic annual obligation by an annual energy-poverty factor of 0.321, to give a total target estimated at 150 TWh cumac for 2016-2017. This raised the total obligation for the 3rd period of the system (2015-2017) to 850 TWh cumac, with 17.6% of this coming from projects for energy-poor households.
To be eligible for the poverty obligation, projects must fulfil the following criteria:
New documentation for projects that benefit households in fuel poverty were required to obtain an Energy Savings Certificate.
On 10 November, 2015 the Ecology Ministry signed a deal with a private company to pilot an energy renovation passport in energy-positive regions.
The pilot was funded as part of the Energy Savings Certificates (CEE) scheme and around 1,000 passports are expected to be issued by the end of 2017. It launched in January 2016 in ten volunteer territories.
The passports includes a diagnostic based on energy performance data on the home and occupants’ needs, recommendations for work with an estimated schedule, and information on financial support available. The energy saving passport, also details a simulation of expected savings once the work is complete. Renovation work is done by environmentally certified or RGE-labeled companies who have signed up to the engagement charter.
CITE: the Energy Transition Tax Credit
Since 1 September, 2014 CITE has replaced the CIDD; it covers work done before 31 December, 2016.
French resident taxpayers can get an income tax credit for past spending on environmental improvements to their main residence, whether they own, rent or have free use of it. The CITE tax credit provides a 30% tax deduction on energy renovation work, subject to conditions.
ECO-PTZ: interest-free eco-loan
Available since 1 April, 2009, the Eco-PTZ is a zero interest loan offered by banks that requires no credit check and allows customers to affordably carry out renovations that improve energy efficiency. Since 1 September, 2014, the work has had to be done by RGE (“Reconnus Garant de l’Environnement”) environmentally compliant tradesman. The Eco-PTZ was subsequently extended to 31 December 2018.
Cut-rate VAT at 5.5%
VAT at a low rate of 5.5% or mid-rate of 10% applies to all energy renovation work completed after 1 January, 2014.
The Agence Nationale de l’Habitat (ANAH) offers grants to home owners who want to upgrade the energy performance of their home.