The regulations form part of the Climate and Resilience law and will come into force in September 2022.
Currently, if you plan to sell or rent a property in France, you need to provide a diagnostic de performance énergétique (DPE), which is a document that serves as an estimate for the property’s energy consumption.
Depending on the result of the DPE, your property will be ranked from A (the most energy efficient) to G (the least energy efficient).
In France, properties that fall into the F and G categories are known as passoires thermales – or heat sinks. According to Le Parisien, some 4.8 million properties in France fall into this category, generally older properties or those in poor repair.
So what changes?
From September, anyone who want to sell a property that is ranked in the F or G categories (ie those that are projected to need a minimum 330 KWh/m2 of energy per year) will also need to pay for an audit énergétique.
This is like a far more precise version of the DPE and aims to inform future buyers not only of the likely energy bills but also of the cost of renovations needed to make the property fall into the B class.
Real estate experts are worried that there will not be enough trained professionals to carry out the audits énergétiques. The implementation of this new requirement was supposed to go ahead in January 2022 and has already been pushed back by eight months.
The cost of an audit énergétique falls on those who are trying to sell and is estimated at around €700-800.
If you are considering renovating a property in France to make it more energy efficient, this is a good time to do so. The government is backing zero percent interest loans and other measure to make it economical to do so. You can read more about these measures HERE.
There is also another incentive: if your property is seriously energy inefficient (requires more than 450 KWh/m2 per year), you will not be allowed to rent it out from 2023.
Eventually, the audit will also apply to homes in the E class, as of January 1, 2025, and then later to homes in the D class from January 1, 2034.
Who can carry out the audit?
As of early May, the French government released its requirements for who is certified to perform these services, which differs based on whether you live in a ‘multi-dwelling residential building’ or an ‘individual house.’
For the former, you can either use an engineering firm with a specific qualifications (this is called a “OPQIBI 1905”) or registered architects. For individual houses, you can also use qualified engineering firms (in this case, called a “OPQIBI 1911”), as well as companies certified with “RGE offre globale” and certified home inspectors. For more information, read HERE.