Financial aid for renovation work, ten years of state efforts
Undertaking renovation work, until the early 2000s, was above all about improving comfort and bringing added value to your home. Questions of energy consumption and ecological materials hardly figured at the top of the specifications. Since then, the new expressions of “sustainable architecture” and “ecological works” have raised the environmental theme to a preponderant level, aided by attractive financial mechanisms.
At the origin of the development of sustainable housing figures prominently the 2005 Finance Act, which inaugurated incentive measures for work in main residences. Regularly updated since then, this law allows ecological work in homes (thermal insulation, heating regulators, equipment producing and using renewable energy, etc.) to be deducted from the tax declaration. Typically devoted to the reduction of greenhouse gases, this measure took place two years before the start of the famous Grenelle de l'Environnement.
The Grenelle de l'Environnement promise: Eco-loan at zero interest
Meeting in France at the beginning of autumn 2007, the Grenelle de l'Environnement explicitly aimed to promote sustainable development, in a context marked by a crisis of conscience (late) on climate degradation. After more than two years of long gestation, the 2009 Finance Law gave birth to a flagship project of the Grenelle de l'Environnement: the zero-rate Eco-loan (PTZ).
Pushing even further the principle of the Finance Act 2005, the zero-rate Eco-loan allows individuals to renovate their main residence in an energetic way, reducing the carbon footprint (in particular greenhouse gas emissions) and energy consumption. The interest on the loan is fully paid by the State. Despite several changes and some early hiccups in the early years, in 2015 the PTZ experienced further success, with an ongoing increase of 35% of loans distributed compared to 2014, when nearly 50,000 PTZ had already been signed.