As of Tuesday, households in France who heat their homes primarily with wood are able to apply an energy cheque (or voucher) from French government to help combat soaring wood prices.
For those who qualify, this wood-specific energy aid would be in addition to the government’s one-time “energy cheque” – meant to help people combat rising energy costs and inflation – which was sent out to 12 million households across France in mid-December.
The website allowing families to apply for the wood energy cheque (chèque énergie bois) became available to eligible households – representing approximately 2.6 million people in France – on December 27th at 8am.
In order to benefit from the payment, those who heat primarily using wood can apply with the Agency of Services and Payments at the website chequeboisfioul.asp-public.fr. The online portal will remain open until April 30th.
Households will also need to provide “a nominative invoice proving a wood purchase of at least €50 (or a certificate for households with collective heating),” a representative from the Ministry of the Economy told Le Parisien.
The amount offered will be means-tested and will range from €50 to €200. The first round of grants will be available in mid-February, according to the French Ministry of the Economy.
This aid will also be available to households that heat their homes primarily using wood-pellet stoves – once again, based on individual financial situation. This government assistance will be capped at payments of €200 for families on the lowest incomes.
Gabriel Attal, the minister of public accounts, told Le Parisien in November that the maximum amount an individual could receive in aid – in total, over a series of cheques – would be €2,260. For families with two children, the maximum is capped at €4,750.
The wood energy cheque is not to be confused with the government assistance for families who heat their homes with fuel oil – or le chèque énergie exceptionnel – opération fioul in French. This separate payment cannot be combined with the wood energy cheque. Applying for access to the fuel-oil energy assistance can be done through the same online portal (HERE) and will also require a receipt or invoice showing the purchase of fuel oil.