Published on Nov 15, 2023 at 9:49 a.m.Updated Nov. 15, 2023 at 4:51 p.m.
While the government has set great ambitions in the energy renovation of housing, MaPrimeRénov’ is slipping. Last week, the Minister Delegate in charge of Public Accounts, Thomas Cazenave, announced a cancellation of 300 million euros of unused credits under this public aid for 2023, out of a total budget of 2.4 billion. Or 8% of the total.
There is certainly an increase in the power of the system. The State should pay 2.1 billion euros in MaPrimeRénov’ aid over the year 2023, compared to 1.6 billion in 2022. But this acceleration is more sluggish than expected, which raises questions for the future. The government plans to mobilize 4 billion euros in 2024 to finance energy renovation work. The step (almost doubling) now seems very high.
Why are there today fewer candidates than expected for the government check? The National Housing Agency (Anah), which issues MaPrimeRénov’, did not wish to tell us the number of files initiated, to date, for this istance. But the trend is clearly downward. Already, between the 1er January and May 31, 243,000 files had been opened, compared to 260,000 during the same period of 2022 (-6.5%).
“The pace of renovations has not been as fast as we all wanted, due to increasing material costs on one hand [qui renchérit la facture globale des travaux, NDLR]and a strong demand and the difficulties of the sector in finding trained personnel to carry out renovations on the other hand,” admitted Thomas Cazenave.
In order to benefit from MaPrimeRénov’, you must use a company with the RGE label, for “recognized guarantor of the environment”. The number of these companies is not only limited, but it has fallen further in recent months .
High load balance
On the household side, for many professionals in the sector, the question of purchasing power is at the heart of the problem. “Many people are asking for information, but the work is too expensive despite the aid [MaPrimeRénov’ et subventions au titre des CEE, les certificats d’économies d’énergie, NDLR]they say to themselves that they will see later,” indicates Pierre Maillard, CEO of Hellio, a player in energy efficiency who supports individuals in putting together their files.
“There is no longer any MaPrimeRénov’ istance for households with average or higher incomes for renovations by gesture [depuis la révision du barème par le gouvernement en février, NDLR]. For example for insulation work only. However, these households had the means to pay a remainder, but not all of the work,” Sylvie Charbonnier, the general secretary of Symbiote, the multi-branch union of industries and energy renovation operators, has been warning for several months now. She also denounces the slow processing of files by Anah.
As for efficient renovations, which the executive wants to push, they remain difficult to access even for the most isted households. Hellio had made his calculations in April: in two years, for the overall renovation of a house (insulation of the attic, floors, walls, change of windows, boiler, etc.) the remainder of the energy renovation work is increased from approximately 35,300 euros to 44,000 euros for low-income households, and from 35,300 to 39,500 euros for precarious households.
Difficult goal to achieve
These will be significantly more helped next year, the ceiling for financed works for very modest households increasing from 35,000 to 70,000 euros . However, will this allow a leap forward in energy renovation work, and the consumption of the 4 billion envelope planned for MaPrimeRénov’? The government wants to believe it.
Still, the stated objective for next year of 200,000 overall renovations (compared to 66,000 in 2022 and a priori 90,000 in 2023) leaves many observers skeptical.