The 2021 guide to financing your green renovation

7 min read

Are you a homeowner looking to carry out a green renovation? Well, you’re in luck! In this guide, you can discover all the forms of financial support available in France for renovating your home-sweet-home in a way that reduces your carbon footprint.

What is financial support for green renovation?

Support for green building renovation in France brings together various national and local financial schemes set up to support homeowners undertaking projects to reduce their domestic energy consumption. Green renovations have two major advantages:

  • Saving energy (which means saving you money!)

  • Reducing your carbon footprint. According to the French Environment and Energy Management Agency, Ademe, housing represents 27% of greenhouse gas emissions in France—higher than transportation at 25%.

Beyond the cost savings, these government grants are part of a more global approach to sustainable development and protecting the environment. So, if you’re a homeowner trying to decide whether to do a sustainable renovation, read on to discover the different types of aid and their benefits.

Which types of green renovation are most effective?

Most excessive energy consumption in the home is caused by three main issues: poor insulation, energy-intensive heating, and ventilation problems. To save energy in your home, here are the three most efficient renovation options available:

1. Thermal insulation

A poorly insulated house will use more energy to compensate for heat loss. Insulating the roof and attic, as well as walls—which account for 30% and 20% of heat loss respectively—can greatly reduce your home’s energy consumption. To a lesser extent, windows and floors can also be insulated to prevent heat loss.

2. Heating

Once you’ve properly insulated your home, the quality of your heating plays a major role in energy consumption. Since heating is the source of around 60% of household greenhouse gas emissions, investing in more efficient heating also helps to reduce your pollution. To consume less energy and limit greenhouse gas emissions, you could opt for a gas condensing boiler, heat pump, or wood stove. Another way to save energy is by installing heating regulators, such as a programmable thermostat.

3. Ventilation

The final critical area for optimizing energy consumption in your home or apartment is ventilation. Air renewal is important in guaranteeing good air quality and avoiding indoor pollution, which can cause humidity. To achieve this, the installation of a mechanical ventilation system (single or double flow) is recommended. Want to learn more? Read our article to find out the costs of renovating a home.

All these renovations, while ultimately improving your comfort and helping lower your bills while doing good for the planet, do come at a financial cost. Fortunately, plenty of support is available in France. More on this below.

What types of financial support are available for green renovations?

Navigating all the bonuses, checks, and other tax breaks that the state offers homeowners who want to carry out a green renovation is no easy task. To guide you toward the financing best-suited to your situation, we’ve brought together the main plans available in 2021.

MaPrimeRénov’

This support was launched in January 2020 to replace the tax credit for the energy transition (Cite) and the “Habiter Mieux Agilité” support from the National Housing Agency (Anah). It provides financial assistance for the following types of renovations:

  • Insulation

  • Heating

  • Ventilation

  • Energy audit

Who can benefit? All home residents—whether owners or occupants—can obtain assistance via MaPrimeRénov’. The amount you’ll get depends on the type of work undertaken, as well as the owner’s income. There are four categories, ranging from an income of €14,879 for one person for the lowest category to more than €29,148 for the highest category (for people living outside the Île-de-France).

For example, €10,000 may be granted to a person in the first category with a very modest income for the installation of a wood pellet boiler, compared with €4,000 for households in the third category with an intermediate income. To find out how much you could receive, we recommend using the online calculator.

Habiter Mieux Sérénité

This scheme is only intended for homeowners living in a single-family home that’s more than 15 years old who have a modest or very modest income. To benefit from this support from the National Housing Agency (Anah), homeowners must also undertake work that will lead to energy savings of at least 35%. Depending on your income, you can obtain financing for up to 50% of the renovation costs.

Zero interest eco-loan (Eco-PTZ) 

Do you want to embark on a green renovation project but don’t have the necessary cash? With the zero-interest Eco-PTZ eco-loan, you could finance your work right away for up to €30,000, and pay it back interest free over time (up to 15 years).

Who can benefit? This loan is intended for homeowners (or occupants) and certain real estate partnerships only for housing completed before January 1, 1990. The property must be declared as the main residence.

The Energy Saving Bonus (Prime Économie d’énergie)

Also known as the “Coup de pouces économies d’énergie” bonus, this support has two categories:

  • “Coup de pouce chauffage” (heating boost) bonus—for owners who want to install a boiler that uses renewable energy

  • “Coup de pouce isolation” (insulation boost) bonus—to help finance insulation work on your attic, roof, and ground floor.

The maximum amount available is €4,000. This support is available until December 31, 2021.

Who can benefit? All homeowners are eligible for the Energy Saving Bonus, but the amount awarded varies depending on income. 

Finally, other measures, such as 5.5% VAT on certain renovations, the Denormandie tax reduction scheme for housing renovations in certain neighborhoods, and support from energy supply companies (Energy Efficiency Credit) are also available. Low-income households can also benefit from an energy check, which the state sends automatically each year.

Local support for green renovation

In addition to national aid, there are many types of financing available from local authorities. This often makes it possible to supplement state schemes such as energy or insulation checks, green building (BBC) renovation support, and microcredit. Each authority, both regional and departmental, has its own range of subsidies. Check out what’s on offer with the financial support calculator

In addition, some authorities grant exemptions from property tax for green renovations. This can range from 50% to 100% of the amount due, and can be granted for a period of up to 3 years. To benefit from a tax exemption, the accommodation must have been completed before January 1, 1989 or January 1, 2009 if its energy performance is higher than that required by law.

Who can benefit from this support and how do you apply?

Financial support for green renovation can be divided into two groups:

  • Support that’s accessible to all owners and occupants. These are MaPrimeRénov’, zero interest eco-loans, the Denormandie tax reduction, 5.5% VAT and the “Coup de pouce” energy boost scheme.

  • Support aimed at owners with modest incomes—the Habiter Mieux Sérénité scheme and energy checks, which are also available to tenants.

Co-ownership associations can, in most cases, benefit from these forms of support for green renovations. They are eligible for the MaPrimeRénov’ scheme, VAT at 5.5%, zero interest eco-loans, local subsidies, and energy supplier support schemes.

It’s worth noting that one of the main eligibility conditions for these subsidies is that the work is carried out by an RGE certified provider with official green credentials. For the MaPrimeRénov’ and Habiter Mieux Sérénité schemes, financial support is paid once the work has been completed. For the Energy Saving Bonus, you’ll need to choose a company that’s signed the charter for this bonus, sign the quote from your chosen provider, and then send the invoice to the provider. Then, the agencies in question will pay you the bonus amount.

Green at heart? N26 is here to support you 

Ready to limit your paper consumption? Try our mobile app, which lets you carry out all your banking needs online. Plus, our premium N26 Smart, You, and Metal accounts help you save money effortlessly with Spaces, so you can invest in your green projects. These virtual piggy banks allow you to place your money into designated sub-accounts, so you can set cash aside every month to reach your savings goals.

Discover N26 Metal

Experience premium banking with a metal Mastercard, priority support & exclusive benefits.
Get N26 Metal (new tab)
N26 Metal card.

Not a homeowner yet but ready to take the plunge? Find out what costs you can expect to pay before buying a property.

By N26

Related posts

These might also interest you
Phone screen with apps.

We’ve compiled a list of the best budgeting apps for iPhone and Android. Use these apps to build a budget that makes saving simpler and more rewarding.

Pie Chart.

The 50/30/20 budget is beautiful in its simplicity. It can help you divide your income into categories that make saving easy.

woman wearing a mask buying fruits in a supermarket.

The right grocery budget can save you thousands each year—without skimping on healthy eating. Here’s how to shop smarter at the grocery store.