Home Renovation: How to Get Help for Your Project

Who has never pulled their hair out when trying to do a renovation project? Know which experts to contact, wait weeks for an offer, know if there is financial assistance? An observation that many of us have experienced, yet the performance of energy renovation and insulation works has become essential.

Faced with rising energy bills, “almost 17% of households are affected by energy poverty in Occitanie”, according to Agnès Langevine, Vice-President of the Occitanie region in charge of climate, the Green Pact and 'Sustainable housing; new regulatory obligations for rental properties, building renovation becomes essential for households, social landlords, communities and businesses (tertiary, commercial, tourist buildings; industrial sites).

The State has established public policies with France Rénov and the support of France Services houses and communities such as the Occitanie region through Rénov'Occitanie, thus providing a local territorial network to facilitate and speed up renovation works to improve home comfort and reduce energy consumption .

Diagnostics, revision, work…

The renovation and rehabilitation/expansion mobilizes many local players in the construction and energy sector (builders, design offices, installers, woodworkers, etc.) who now have RGE certification (recognized guarantor of the environment). Even if it is not mandatory, this mark allows the recognition of the most competent experts and also gives the possibility of access to help for energy renovation works, especially MaPrim'Rénov.

Also read: Small budget: these concrete solutions you can apply to save money

Renovation requires specific skills: property diagnosis (measures the energy efficiency of the property), energy audit, insulation (interior and exterior), renewable energy sources, etc. Companies like Groupe Verlaine, recently founded in Perpignan, specialize in the renovation and energy optimization of homes (insulation, heat pump, solar panels).

“The renovation market is opaque. It is difficult to manage the information that is transmitted, and thus to trust the players in the sector. The economic context with the rise of interest rates makes our activity more complex, despite the help while there is demand”, emphasizes Serge Fouquet, director of the Perpignan agency of the Verlaine group and also real estate specialist We support individuals and professionals in their energy transition and renovation projects, offering tailor-made solutions to improve the energy efficiency of homes and encourage the use of renewable energy.”

Also read: 2024 the year of solar energy in Pyrénées-Orientales: “The photovoltaic roof will soon be cheaper than the tiled roof”

Thermal solutions

Actors in real estate development, due to the lack of a sluggish new real estate market, are starting renovation/rehabilitation projects. The renovation encourages the companies involved to innovate, such as the Hérault-based Solarès group, specialists in insulating facades using permeable coatings for buildings, opening new perspectives with reflective colors for “cool roof” roofs. Likewise, the company audoise Adeima who designs and manufactures thermoreflective interior shades has an integrated research and development center to develop thermal solutions for interiors. “They respond to the challenges of thermal regulation of buildings by limiting the use of air conditioning, heating and artificial lighting”explains Fabien Lachambreexecutive director of the company Adeima based in Limoux.

Ensuring the renewal process

In Occitanie, the region and local authorities finance the Rénov'Occitanie network, a public service dedicated to the energy renovation of private homes. Co-hosted with the Regional Agency for Energy and Climate (Arec Occitanie), this network is aimed at owners of individual or multi-apartment residential buildings who want to carry out energy renovation work, install renewable energy sources and reduce the energy bill in their home.

The renovation of dilapidated residential buildings is a big challenge for increasing the housing stock

The renovation of dilapidated residential buildings is a big challenge for increasing the housing stock

This network of Rénov'Occitanie one-stop shops, thirty-one in total, including three in Aude (Le Préau, Mon coach Eco-Logis and Rénov'Habitat) and two in Pyrénées-Orientale including the one within the Perpignan Méditerranée Métropole, informs owners free of charge and completely independently of available financial assistance and directs them to a support path tailored to their renovation project. The goal of the network is to secure a renovation project, carry out works adapted to the residential area, optimize the financing plan and avoid fraud.

At the same time, you should know that the Occitanie region offers special assistance intended for co-ownership to finance audits, project management assistance and energy renovation works. The region also has an advance that can be mobilized for all types of housing depending on income conditions.

Global approach preferred in 2024

From January 1, 2024, public support for financing energy renovation or adaptation will be developed with a global approach. The National Agency for Housing Improvement (Anah) has just published a guide outlining the grants available.

Read also: Energy saving: Boiler, pellet stove, insulation work… What will change in MaPrimeRenov in 2023.

MaPrimeRénov' (€5 billion) now prioritizes large-scale renovations thanks to the supported route. The goal is to encourage the comprehensive renovation of buildings, regardless of the household's income: installation work on insulation, ventilation and ecological heating that enable obtaining at least 2 energy labels, by financing a significant part of the work.

Support for renovation in 2024 is conditional on the entire renovation works

Support for renovation in 2024 is conditional on the entire renovation works

Households will be supported by the Renov' Accompanist approved by Anah and will be able to benefit from much higher financing up to 90% within the limit of 70,000 euros of work. Public support for renovations related to the type of work or “mono-gesture”, which related to 90% of renovations supported in 2022, will be reserved for the installation of ecological heating systems to continue the decarbonization of heating methods. Heat pump packages are increased from 1,000 to 2,000 euros for households with modest and medium incomes. From July 1st, owners of houses classified F and G (thermal screens) will be obliged to carry out a comprehensive renovation.

Also read: Housing: Government considers aid to finance heat wave works

Aid to MaPrimeRénov' Copropriété has also been stepped up. From January 1, 2024, co-owners over 15 years of age and over 50 housing units must draft a multi-year work plan and vote on it. This document must identify two types of works: those necessary to protect the building; and those aimed at improving its energy efficiency. If the works project allows a minimum energy gain of 35%, the financing rate will be 30% of the upper limit of the works of 25,000 euros per apartment. If the target energy gain is greater than 50%, the financing rate will be 45% within the limit of EUR 25,000 per apartment.

Furthermore, these financing rates will increase by an additional 10% if the co-ownership exits the heat sieve status. To help owners of very degraded housing to finance difficult jobs My Decent Housing Bonus is a new aid that combines Living Healthy and Living Serene aid from Anah to combat substandard housing. It enables the financing of up to 80% of works up to 70,000 euros, especially when they will improve the energy efficiency of the home.

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