On housing insulation – Part 2/2 1

hlm.jpgFollowing what I wrote there, I am finishing this topic. I now focus on the various financial helps provided by the French government for households willing to insulate their apartment or house.

We will also have a look at the solutions to the problem posed by the lack of thermal insulation and the effects of such policies occurring at various levels

Below is a short version of my Master’s Thesis, or should I say the most interesting findings and ideas. I updated the part on the States financial aids to better reflect what is done now.

1. Financial solutions for households

logo_ademe.gifThe ADEME (website in English), the French Environment and Energy Management Agency, alongside with the Regions, some city councils and so on proposes financial aids for people willing to insulate their housings.

French subventions indeed can come from several levels, from the highest (the State) to the most local (the city). Some discrepancy indeed exists between regions or cities. Even if most of the money is given by the State via tax rebate, some regions or cities give more or less money to renewable energies projects and the like. It would be interesting to have a more similar situation throughout France.

Most subventions and tax rebates are open to all people, whether they might be the owner, the renter, the user or the co-owner of a housing. This is a good thing as even if the owner of an accommodation does not act, the user or renter can do something and benefits from the various helps at his/her disposal.

But to cumulate all the possible financial aids is a very tedious task and I think more people would benefit from them if this system was improved

Below is a short overview of the situation :

  • The French government proposes a tax rebate on the insulating materials ;
  • A decreased tax level on these materials, from 19.6 percent to 5.5 ;
  • Various other aids ;

All the data is available there in French.

To me, this is better than nothing. But the ADEME budget is very low and accounts for a very minor part of the French Government budget (0.09 percent of the total in 2006).

Increasing the ADEME budget would enable it to propose bigger financial packages to households willing to insulate their homes. As I stated in the previous article on insulation, France has nearly 20 million housings lacking decent thermal insulation and an improvement of this situation would lead to huge savings.We will see below some of the major benefits for this country to really push people to insulate their houses.

2. Some benefits for France

  • An improved balance of trade

The betterment of the energy performance, as well as an increase in the reliance on clean energies, would lead to two major changes concerning the French balance of trade.

First, France would be able to sell more nuclear energy to its neighbours. With an ameliorated energy performance, less energy would be needed for housings.

This would also lead to a diminution of the reliance on fossil fuels. This will be another improvement on the balance of trade as these energy sources are imported mostly from the Middle East or Russia.

  • A stronger economic growth

Ameliorating the energy conservation of housing would decrease the energy needs of households. The latter would hence have more money to spend on French goods and services. This would lead undoubtedly to a rise of the consumption and to economic growth and the decrease of the unemployment rate in the traditional economy. This would be the launch of a virtuous cycle for the French economy.

  • Creation of multiple jobs

All the points above-mentioned will lead to significant job creations. The building sector would expand in a massive way, as there are nearly 20 million accommodations to be isolated. These new jobs will require formation, which would also create jobs. In the case of self-made insulation, people could also benefit from formation, a new source of employment.

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