If you feel concerned about the impact of energy costs on your bills, and you wonder if there is something that can be done to improve the situation, then it is interesting for you to get information about the energy consumption of your accommodation.
HOW CAN I KNOW WHAT IS MY ENERGY CONSUMPTION?
The easiest way to find out about the energy consumption of your property is to find your French Energy Performance Certificate, called Diagnostic de Performance Energétique or DPE.It is a survey made on french real estate since April 2011 valid for 10 years. Be careful, there is a British equivalent called EPC, however the figures on the results are unequal.
Since July 1st 2007, the French DPE must be presented during the sale or the rent of accommodations and commercial buildings (offices, hotels etc). The aim is to inform the landlord and the tenant about the building’s energy consumption, including the heating, the air-conditioning and the hot water production (but not on the specific electricity, e.g. lightning, household appliances, etc.). The results of this diagnosis are represented with the help of a chart, with categories starting from A to G.
From the D category, some savings are possible and easily achieved.
As well as changing the boiler, the insulation of the accommodation contributes a lot to the protection against the cold. In winter, it avoids heat transfer by reducing its loss. Inversely, it maintains the coolness inside in summer by preventing the warmth to enter. A well-isolated accommodation improves your comfort, makes you save money and lightens your bill. Some insulators offer not only a thermal protection but also soundproof the property.
As well as increasing the value of the accommodation, improving its comfort and saving energy, environmental renovating can also be fiscally interesting. Insulation is a resource with a very good return on investments. It is the most profitable measure, even before thinking about renewable energies regarding heating and hot water production. Besides, if you earn a salary in France, and pay therefore income tax, you can get advantageous tax benefits, such as:
- Tax credit
- Grants from the State, or organisations
- Loans with 0% interest rates
- A 5.5% VAT instead of 19.6%, if the insulation is made by a professional
IMPROVING THE INSULATION:
There are several ways to improve the insulation of an accommodation. Knowing that 30% of warmth losses come from the roof, 25% from the walls and 15% from the windows, the most common insulations are:
- Roof and loft insulation
- Wall insulation
- Floor insulation
- Window insulation and draught proofing
The price of the insulation work depends on the insulation materials, but above all on the characteristics of the building. An expert should do an estimate before proceeding with work. You can also DIY if you are a challenger.
Before starting with the insulation of your accommodation, there are some basic rules you must not forget:
– While choosing the materials always take into account its thermal resistance “R”, showed on its packaging. The higher the “R” is, the more efficient is the material.
– Insulation must always be combined with good ventilation (natural or mechanical).
– The place you want to insulate must be completely dry, with no trace of humidity. Do not hesitate to ask a professional to make a diagnosis. He will be able to determine the areas that need a treatment.
– The insulation barrier might be broken and create what is called thermal bridges, often located at the junction points between the different parts of the accommodation. A good insulation is made so that these thermal bridges are reduced.