Legislation in France

  • Legislation in France

    France has set itself the target of saving 30.57 Mtoe of final energy between 2014 and 2020. Since December 2013, France has notified its strategy to the European Commission. The package will impose obligations on energy suppliers via Energy Saving Certificates (CEEs) and introduce budgetary and tax measures (including CITE eco-tax breaks and PTZ interest-free eco-loans), financing measures (energy renovation guarantee fund) and organisational measures (the energy renovation passport). Subsequently, Act 2015-992 of 17 August, 2015 on the Energy Transition and Green Growth, set strategic targets for the new French energy model. It seeks to promote green growth by reducing France's energy bill through massive renovation of housing, access to clean transport and the promotion of clean and secure new energies. The law also promotes the circular economy and better waste management.
  • Energy Saving Certificates

    Current situation

    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:

    • Take energy saving actions with their customers, whether individuals, local authorities or professionals;
    • Buy CEEs on the market;
    • Contribute to programmes financially.

    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.


    • 1st period from May 2006 to mid-2009Target: 54 TWh cumac
    • Transition period from mid-2009 to end-2010
      No obligation
    • 2nd period extended from 2011 to end-2014
      Target: 345 + 115 TWh cumac
    • 3rd period from 2015 to 2017
      Target: 700 + 150 TWh cumac targeted at energy poverty
  • Fuel poverty

    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.

    Implementation methods

    To be eligible for the poverty obligation, projects must fulfil the following criteria:

    Application Requirements

    New documentation for projects that benefit households in fuel poverty were required to obtain an Energy Savings Certificate.

  • Energy passport

    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.

  • Budget and tax measures

    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.

    ANAH grants

    The Agence Nationale de l’Habitat (ANAH) offers grants to home owners who want to upgrade the energy performance of their home.

    Grant allocation is dependent on the financial status of the household seeking to have work done. For further information see the ANAH website or contact your nearest Point Rénovation Info Service. 

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