At the recent French monitoring committee for the project Transition Zero, the social housing provider Vilogia in Northern France have announced that, with the support of Greenflex (coordinating the activities of the EU project Transition Zero in France) they have launched beginning of October a call for tender to receive proposals from construction/renovation companies in order to get the first French projects under Transition Zero running.
The contract will be about the renovation of 10 social housing units. The renovation should be done in 3 weeks and the level of energy performance achieved should be net zero, combining energy efficiency and renewable energy, with a 25 year guarantee of performance.
In comparison with the original Energiesprong model, there won’t be an energy plan (i.e. tenants paying a fee equivalent to their average energy consumption over the last 3 years). Indeed the legislation in France so far does not allow to use more than 50% of the energy savings for the reimbursement of the investment. The Investment will be done by the social housing provider with the usual source of funding (a mix between own resources – including potentially an increase of rent – and subsidized loan).
In the long term, the model is that construction/renovation companies pay for the investment and are reimbursed via an energy fee paid by tenants to the social housing provider.
Regarding the use of renewable energy, which is a central piece in the Energiesprong model since it helps achieving the net zero on the meter, the French legislation has been changed last August in order to allow for more self consumption/self generation of renewable electricity. This could help the Energiesprong model in France too. Eventually, an important point.
Eventually the monitoring committee has highlighted the importance of creating and maintaining a fruitful relationship with tenants at all stages of the renovation project. Not only because the social acceptance of any project is key, or because their behaviour after the renovation will impact the energy consumption but the primary objective of such renovation is to improve the comfort and satisfaction of tenants.