French Government Adjusts Energy Classification for Small Homes to Enhance Accuracy

Introduction

In a bid to improve the accuracy of energy consumption ratings for small homes, the French government recently made changes to the classification system. This comes as part of France’s ongoing efforts to curb energy waste and achieve its climate objectives.

New Amendments to Benefit Over 140,000 Small Homes

The Minister of Ecological Transition has announced key adjustments that are expected to benefit more than 140,000 homes smaller than 40 square meters. These changes aim to correct the current system that often misclassifies smaller properties as energy sieves due to a strong emphasis on hot water consumption. The new amendments will also ensure that these properties are no longer unfairly penalized based on their size alone.

The Effect of Hot Water Consumption on Classification

The existing classification method disproportionately weighs hot water consumption against the surface area of a home, without considering the true number of occupants living there. This leads to an overestimation of energy wastage in very small properties. As a consequence, more than 27% of such properties, specifically those under 40m2, end up being classified as energy sieves despite not genuinely contributing to France’s overall energy waste problem.

Rental Prohibitions Remain Unchanged

As the French government seeks to make progress towards its climate goals, it also remains committed to enforcing rental prohibitions on homes with high energy consumption rates. The timeline for implementing these rental restrictions remains the same:

  • From January 1, 2023, renting out properties with the highest energy consumption will be prohibited.
  • Starting from 2025, it will be illegal to rent out any property classified as G under the Climate Law.

Renovation Requirements for Re-renting Energy Sieves

The Minister of Ecological Transition also highlighted that mandatory renovations would only apply at specific times:

  • When a lease is renewed, or
  • When there is a change of tenant

This ensures that property owners have ample opportunity to make energy-efficient upgrades before being subject to rental prohibitions based on their classification.

Temporary Suspension for Common Area Renovations

A second amendment will allow for the suspension of rental prohibitions for up to two years from the date of a general assembly vote by co-owners approving common area renovations. This provides affected properties with ample time to carry out necessary renovation works and improve their energy efficiency without incurring penalties.

Tighter Measures for a Greener Future

These new amendments are expected to help France chart a greener path towards its ambitious climate targets. By ensuring the accuracy of the energy classification system, the government can more effectively identify and address areas requiring improvement. Additionally, these amendments reduce the burden on smaller homes and give property owners more opportunities to adjust to stricter regulations before facing potential rental prohibitions.

A Collective Effort Towards Sustainability

With the French government providing clearer guidelines and additional support mechanisms, it encourages all citizens and property owners to work together towards achieving the country’s long-term climate goals. Ultimately, improving energy efficiency and reducing wastage does not only benefit the environment – it contributes to more affordable living expenses and a better quality of life for residents across France.

While challenges remain, the recent amendments to the energy classification system represent a step in the right direction for sustainable living in France. By promoting accurate and reasonable standards, these changes stand to improve both understanding and overall performance in the country’s quest to curb energy waste and achieve its climate objectives.