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01 June 2020

Energy regulations in France: news and implications

Myriam Busch

 

In the current climate crisis, the real estate sector is a major player of the global energy transition. Residential and tertiary sectors represent 47% of final energy consumptions and 26% of carbon emissions in France (according to the Organisation de l’Immobilier Durable). Therefore, French policies are evolving and strengthening to answer to new and well-needed energy challenges.

From this point forward, the tertiary decree from the article 175 of the ELAN law (Decree n° 2019-771 of the 23rd of July 2019 in relation to duties of final energy consumption reduction in buildings of tertiary usage) commands final energy consumption reduction in buildings of tertiary usage with a surface exceeding 1000sqm. The policy imposes the following targets: -40% for 2030, -50% for 2040, -60% for 2050, or a final energy value of reference per square metre and per year that should not be exceeded, per buildings category. Moreover, from 2021, buildings owners or managers will be asked to communicate energy consumptions on official platforms. With these ambitious targets, the policy aims to encourage, apart from buildings’ renovation, a strengthening of ties and shared responsibilities between landlords and tenants.

Equally, the Énergie-Climat law, passed on November 8th 2019, aiming to accelerate renewable energies’ development, stipulates new requirements for new storage and commercial buildings of more than 1000sqm. Indeed, the latter will be required to install solar panels on a minimum of 30% of the roof surface or install green infrastructures in order to stimulate biodiversity and increase thermo performance of the envelope. These new modalities are integrated to a global strategy of carbon sobriety, aiming to reach carbon neutrality at the national level by 2050.

In addition to the two new regulations, we will see from late 2020, a strengthening of the Réglementation Thermique (Thermal Regulation). In order to answer to growing challenges, RT 2012 will be replaced by the RE 2020, which will include new requirements for future buildings. RE 2020 will aim to construct positive energy buildings, that is, buildings that produce more energy than they consume (a phenomenon already applied by the E+C- label).

In the context of French real estate sector’s regulatory evolutions being aligned with common energy efficiency goals, Longevity Partners distinguishes itself by its potential to become the perfect partner to guide clients in establishing various projects and strategies. Indeed, such regulations will encourage investors, owners and tenants to follow a logic of increased responsibility and awareness towards energy consumption. This awareness will come with a growing need for expertise, a growing appeal for building certifications but also a normalisation of responsible constructions’ demand.

Longevity Partners, fully aware of its role in the sustainable real estate sector, will stay alert and answer to the sector’s major players’ demands towards the energy transition.