The subject is terribly technical but very important and concerns a lot of people. The government has decided to revise upwards its funding objectives for energy renovation works, via the complex system of energy saving certificates (EEC).
→ READ. Energy saving certificates, a controversial device
Over the period 2022-2025, their volume should increase by 17%, compared to the period 2018-2021. The energy savings expected for the next three years should thus drop from 2,100 terawatt-hours (TWh) to 2,500 TWh.
A tool that has become essential for financing energy renovation
Energy suppliers such as EDF, Engie, Total, and supermarkets that sell fuel are obliged (moreover they are called the “obliged”) to devote part of their turnover to the financing of work aimed at saving energy, such as insulation of dwellings or the purchase of more efficient boilers. They thus buy certificates from the professionals who carry out these projects.
→ DEBATE. Is the efficiency of the energy saving certificate system proven?
In all, this represents on average 4 billion euros per year, half for industry and half for individuals. In just a few years, the EWCs have thus become the main device to help renovate housing. For 2021, for example, their contribution should amount to 2 billion euros against 1.7 billion euros for MaPrimeRénov.
A very political subject
Within the government, the subject has caused great tension for three months. The citizens’ convention on the climate proposed that the EWCs save 4,000 TWh while the Ministry of Ecological Transition was counting on 3,000 TWh.
→ THE FACTS. Climate, the main measures of the bill
A month ago, Prime Minister Jean Castex had ruled on 2,400 TWh, arguing in particular that it was not necessary to seal the accounts of EDF, which is the main contributor. But at the insistence of the Minister of Housing, Emmanuelle Wargon, the amount of the CEE was finally raised to 2,500 TWh.
Reinforced support for the fight against fuel poverty
Concretely, this increase from next year means that it will be possible to finance more renovations. But the government also wanted to target certificates a little more towards low-income households, who are most affected by fuel poverty. Of the 2,500 TWh of EEC planned between 2022 and 2025, 730 TWh will be devoted to them. The amount has been revised upwards in recent weeks, since the initial document mentioned only 600 TWh.
The definition of the eligible public has also been revised. The “energy poverty EWCs” will concern those who are in the first three income deciles, according to the INSEE classification.
“ We feared the worst, but in the end we were heard. Since 2016, the EWCs have enabled more than a million low-income families to carry out work to improve their housing. We hope that the new device will accelerate “, explains Daniel Dubreuil, the coordinator of Initiative Rénovons! a group of around 40 organizations, such as the Abbé Pierre Foundation and Secours Catholique.
No more “nudges”
While waiting to open the floodgates from next year, the government has decided to tighten them up this year with the shutdown, earlier than expected, of “Insulation boost “ and “Heating boost” which made it possible, for example, to insulate the attic or to change the boiler for 1 euro. They will stop at 1er July rather than December 31.
The goal is to put an end to the many scams, with a plethora of defects. The system got out of control and got out of hand, to the point of threatening the entire EWC system. These two systems alone now represent 45% of the production of certificates, which nevertheless cover 200 types of work.
For several months, consumer associations had been worried about the extent of the abuses. The government also promises more controls and hopes for a move upmarket in renovation work.