Insulation of the roof of a house using wood fiber panels. - O. PERROT / SIPA

  • In their report submitted to the government on Sunday, and to which Emmanuel Macron will respond on June 29, the 150 French drawn by lot from the Citizen's Climate Convention propose to make compulsory the global renovation of buildings.
  • An essential project when we seek to improve the carbon footprint of France. "The simplest and most effective", even abounds Nicolas Moulin, president of
  • This dossier has been discussed for ten years, "but has never really been brought up to the challenge by successive governments", regrets Jean-Baptiste Lebrun, director of CLER. Is it time to move up a gear?

"Make mandatory the overall energy renovation of buildings by 2040". From the first lines of his report given Sunday evening to Elisabeth Borne, Minister of the Ecological Transition, the Citizen Convention for the Climate throws a "big" stone in the pond.

This is the first objective of the chapter “Accommodation”, one of the five themes peeled by the 150 citizens drawn by lot to find solutions to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 40% in a logic of justice. social. The mission entrusted to them. "Our ambition is to move from a renovation with small gestures and small steps, to a global renovation, by multiplying by three the pace of renovations", they write.

Does the transition start there?

And to get there therefore, no more simple incentives. For condominiums and social landlords, but also for rented individual houses, the proposal is “to make compulsory by 2030 the overall renovations of energy colanders (classified F or G in the energy performance diagnosis), and from here to 2040 for E and D ”.

It is not the sexiest site of the ecological transition. “We have been talking about it for over ten years, but successive governments have never had the political ambition to go to the end of the dossier, or to really carry it, regrets Jean-Baptiste Lebrun, director of the Cler-Réseau association for ecological transition. No doubt that it is not spectacular enough and that it requires patience: the efforts made today have results ten years later. Not necessarily visible, therefore, at the end of an electoral mandate.

Heating that weighs heavily in our energy consumption

However, the 150 citizens were right, believe both Jean-Baptiste Lebrun and Carine Sebi, professor of economics at Grenoble Ecole de Management, where she coordinates the Energy for Society Chair. "We cannot seek to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions without missing out on the thermal renovation of our buildings," they both say, citing the same indicators. The building sector represents 44% of the energy consumed in France (far ahead of transport, 31.3%) and generates 20% of our greenhouse gas emissions. This makes it the second largest broadcasting station in France.

The reason is simple and essentially linked to heating, "which represents 60% of the annual energy consumption of an average household", recalls Carine Sebi. To produce this energy, there is generally C02 emitted at some point in the chain. "They are important when your boiler is in fuel oil, a little less when it is in gas, but are not nonexistent either in the case of a 100% electric heating, continues Jean-Baptiste Lebrun. In winter, for example, our network of nuclear power plants is not always sufficient to cope with certain consumption peaks. We must therefore rely on our latest coal-fired power plants or import electricity produced elsewhere in Europe, especially in coal-fired power plants in Germany or Poland. "

The #ConventionCitoyenne pour le climat voted 87% for an obligation to # overall energy renovation of housing from 2024 with a progressive system of aid.
A chance for the economy, the climate and the reduction in fuel poverty.
To resume #SansFiltre

- Climate Action Network (@RACFrance) June 20, 2020

Insulation - heating - air conditioning

We know how to do today to reduce these emissions from our homes. "It is the simplest and most immediate way to improve our carbon footprint and, by the way, to reduce household energy bills", even assures Nicolas Moulin. The president of, who supports households in energy renovation works, in particular on their financing, distinguishes four major projects to be followed in order. "First the insulation of your home," he begins. Not only the attic, but also the low walls and floor. Then, if necessary, comes the change of heating for a solution that emits less C02 and is better suited to our consumption once our accommodation is insulated. You must also be concerned with ventilation, to ensure the proper evacuation of air and humidity, an important issue once your home is insulated. Finally, there is the insulation of windows and window frames, which I put last because this site is expensive and has little impact on energy savings. "

We could also add the questions of lighting and domestic hot water to be sure of obtaining the BBC label (Low energy consumption building). This all has a cost. "Count today 25 euros per m² for insulating the attic, 50 euros for the walls, 4,000 euros for a new boiler, 1,000 euros for a VMC system (Controlled mechanical ventilation)", gives Nicolas Moulin for the orders of 'idea.

"An important aid system already existing"

"But for all this work, there are today important aid systems which have been greatly strengthened in recent years," he said. These are tax credits, but also bonuses linked to energy saving certificates. And new aids are being studied, such as the "climate bonus" [proposed by the socialist group in the National Assembly]. " claims to distribute 20,000 energy premiums per month, a figure that has tripled in two years. For Nicolas Moulin, it goes in the right direction. For Jean-Baptiste Lebrun, on the other hand, quantity does not always make quality. The director of CLER believes that the current aid systems, often accompanied by major communication campaigns - the famous 1-euro works - have sometimes led French people to carry out work that is unsuitable for their accommodation and far from what is needed. do for the climate or to lighten their bills. It was also one of the observations made by the ADEME [Environment and Energy Management Agency] in its Tremi investigation. Published in October 2018, it looked at the energy renovation works carried out in individual houses in France, from 2014 to 2016. "Only 5% allowed a gain in energy class of two labels [go for example from the category F to D] ”, then assessed Ademe.

Introduce penalties on property taxes?

The other bias often pointed out with regard to current policies in terms of thermal renovation is to rely only on incentive mechanisms. “Too soft, says Carine Sebi, and without any real grip on landlord landlords who do not necessarily see the point of doing work that will improve comfort and reduce the energy bill of their tenants. "

We then come back to the renovation obligations that the 150 citizens of the Convention want to introduce. Or rather strengthen, because the Energy & Climate law, adopted last November, has already been in this area.

From 2021, owners of thermal colanders will no longer be able to freely increase the rent between two tenants without having renovated them, the text states. In addition, work in these homes will become compulsory by 2028. "A bill posting, criticizes Jean-Baptiste Lebrun. For example, it does not define any specific penalty for non-compliance with these obligations. "

Give the incentive another chance?

The Citizen Climate Convention goes much further on the subject. In particular by proposing neither more nor less the ban on the re-rental of thermal colanders not renovated after 2028. Or by introducing a property tax, from 2024, for the occupying owners of thermal colanders who have still not done the work , and from 2028 for lessor owners and co-owners.

It also proposes to "make compulsory the global renovations of houses less efficient than A or B at the time of the transmission of individual houses from 2024". In other words, at the time of the sale, an inheritance or a transmission. This last proposal caught the attention of Nicolas Moulin. "A tax on transfer taxes would be very simple to set up and the most effective solution to push all owners to renovate their property, at the risk of seeing it devalue," he said. But the president of requests that this provision remains brandished as a threat for the time being. "There are still efforts to be made to better publicize existing aid and convince the French to undertake the work by themselves," he said.


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