French renovation revolution
By Knauf Australia on September 24, 2015

Knauf Insulation welcomes the energy transition law for green growth designed to help cut France’s energy use by two in 2050

Knauf Insulation welcomes the energy transition law for green growth designed to help cut France’s energy use by two in 2050

“Highly ambitious building renovation laws designed to help slash France’s energy use by more than a third by 2030 should inspire the world”, says Barry Lynham, Director of Strategy and Communication at Knauf Insulation.

The new French Energy Transition Law (Loi de Transition Energétique pour la Croissance Verte) sets a goal of renovating 500,000 building units every year from 2017 — up from 150,000 at present — and states that all private residential buildings must be renovated before 2025 if their energy consumption exceeds 330 kilowatt hours of energy per square metre per year.

“These are just two key elements of legislation that sets an ambitious national energy savings target of 34% by 2030 — the highest in Europe,” said Mr Lynham. “We should all be inspired by this target, especially the European Council that only agreed an aim of 27% by 2030 last year. We will be pushing them to raise their ambition as they look to develop measures and revise key legislation to deliver the 2030 Climate and Energy Package over the 12 months.”

The new French laws also call for a 40% reduction in France’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030; a cut in national energy use by 50% by 2050; reducing electricity from nuclear power from 75% to 50% by 2025; a commitment to cut fuel poverty by 15% by 2020 and an increase in the price of carbon from 22 Euros in 2016 to 100 Euros a tonne by 2030.

“This law is a testimony to ambitious political will because it sets firm deadlines and establishes solid targets,” said Mr Lynham. “I am proud of the role Knauf Insulation has played in working with our French coalitions and politicians to create such ground-breaking legislation.”

The new laws also include mandatory energy efficiency renovations during transformational private building work, for example installing a new roof or extension; measures to ensure public buildings have “positive energy and high environmental performance” and initiatives to help fight fuel poverty.

Unlocking finance for renovation initiatives is now the key for the full implementation has also been at the heart of the new legislation. Eco-loans with zero-free interest up to 30,000 Euros are already available to homeowners and an energy transition tax credit covers up to 30% if used for thermal renovation.

Plans are also in the pipeline to introduce funds for households that may not have access to finance as well as regional and technical support systems to offer building renovation expertise.

“France has become a showcase for ambitious sustainable legislation and I cannot imagine a better time and place to showcase these new laws to the world than when Paris hosts the United Nation’s 21st Climate Change Conference in December,” said Mr Lynham.