Friday, August 14, 2020

Ban on oil-fired boilers: an explosive dossier

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Oil-fired boilers will soon be a thing of the past. And only a few indestructible models – ignoring statistics – should still work by 2028 in France, hopes the government. The Minister for the Ecological Transition, Barbara Pompili, indeed announced at the beginning of the week that it will be forbidden to install in the new or replace in the existing oil or coal boilers from January 1, 2022.

“Individuals will obviously be able to carry out work or change parts, if necessary, to maintain their boiler, we warn with caution to the Ministry of Ecology. There is no question of forcing them to change their heating mode if theirs still works. “

Since the start of the five-year term, 150,000 households, motivated by public and private aid, have decided each year to modify their old system – very polluting – for a more ecological solution. But despite everything, oil-fired boilers remain numerous in homes. Four million homes, including 3.5 million main residences, are still equipped. Fuel oil is the third heating energy in France after electricity and gas.

If you change a non-performing oil-fired boiler for an efficient one (“condensing”), you can benefit from energy saving certificates (EEC) but the premium is only a few hundred euros (maximum 600 euros ). These EWCs will disappear in January 2022.

For the government, it is urgent to act. And slowly bury the polluting boilers, each model of which emits, in one year, as much Co2 as three cars. “This is an important measure that is easy to implement,” says Gilles Aymoz, Deputy Director of Sustainable Cities and Territories at the Environment and Energy Management Agency (Ademe). They are indeed large emitters of carbon: today, a third of greenhouse gases in France come from buildings and, in this sector, oil-fired boilers are responsible for 15% of carbon emissions. “

Rural France will have to take out the checkbook

But beware of the backhand! Because the ecological measures decided by white-collar workers in Paris could cringe in the countryside, where most owners of oil-fired boilers live. “It is a method of heating still used mainly in rural areas, in old houses that are not always well insulated, indeed describes Gilles Aymoz. They are often modest households who live in regions where the winter climate is very harsh. “

It is therefore difficult, for these small incomes, to spend more than 12,000 euros for a heat pump and around 15,000 euros for a pellet boiler. It is indeed sometimes more tempting to reinvest in an oil-fired boiler at 6,000 euros, even if it costs up to three times more expensive in annual use. What about aid, which is supposed to drastically reduce the bill? The complexity of the files to be completed, the repayment periods or the too wide spectrum of offers – and scams – sometimes cause misunderstandings and serious concerns among households, reluctant to take the plunge.

A heat pump allows you to heat yourself at a lower cost… once installed.  The Telegram / F.  Destoc
A heat pump allows you to heat yourself at a lower cost… once installed. The Telegram / F. Destoc

To see more clearly, the easiest way is surely to connect to the public site Faire.gouv.fr. There, an energy renovation specialist can support everyone in their project free of charge. And take stock of the aid to which he can claim.

Some information is indicated on the site – name, city, type of accommodation, tax income – in order to block a telephone meeting with a State official. Often, they are located in your area of ​​residence to better understand the types of housing built, the insulation techniques of the time and the local climate. Their mission: to answer all your questions and advise you, if necessary, on an ad hoc heating system with your home.

Find RGE artisans

The agent will also take stock with you on the aid that you can receive – and the means and times to obtain it – depending on your income. Finally, it can put you in touch with RGE craftsmen (recognized guarantors of the environment), an essential label to benefit from certain aids.

Currently, for an individual who only wishes to change his heating system (excluding insulation work), there are two types of aid: MaPrimRenov ‘, the amount of which is calculated according to income (taxed households benefit until the at the end of 2020 of the energetic transition tax credit which will be abolished in 2021, they will then benefit from MaPrimeRenov ‘like other households), as well as energy saving certificates – or Coup de Pouce premiums – financed by big polluters like mass distribution, energy suppliers, etc.

And the payment deadlines? “Regarding MaPrimeRenov ‘, an agent can be appointed to advance the funds in place of the individual,” explains Barbara Pompili’s office. As for the Coup de Pouce premiums, it is on a case by case basis depending on the operator chosen. “

Be that as it may, the government intends to work harder to be able to finance a maximum of energy renovation projects, even if the amount of aid per household will not be changed (up to 8,000 euros for the most modest) . “In the recovery plan, we are going to go even further by adding 2 billion euros, in 2021 and 2022, to the envelope devoted to energy works”, assures a close friend of the minister.

Sloping land, isolated dwellings, large temperature variations… the mountains favor fuel oil.  LP / OB
Sloping land, isolated dwellings, large temperature variations… the mountains favor fuel oil. LP / OB

But already, there are criticisms about the feasibility of such a measure on the ground. “The installation of alternative solutions where the winter temperatures are the lowest remains limited, estimates Nicolas Barros, director of development at BDR Thermea Group, a European leader in heating. In these areas, fuel oil will remain the best option because there is no access to town gas and the electricity grid is insufficient to install a heat pump. “

At Ademe, we also recognize technical complexities in areas furthest from cities. “The solutions are less diversified and installing a heat pump instead of an oil boiler is complicated, warns an advisor. It is a real job that requires additional skills that a heating engineer does not necessarily have. »And which are therefore more expensive.

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