Energy prices rise but energy renewal falls: professionals warn Castex

Energy prices have tripled or even quadrupled since the beginning of 2021, without waiting for the invasion of Ukraine to begin. Twelve days before the first round of the presidential elections, ten professional associations and federations have just sent a letter on this issue to Jean Castex, which reveals Gallery (end of article, editor’s note).

“The current situation, combined with the urgency of global warming and the extremely ambitious goals set by the authorities during the first discussions of the French Energy Climate Strategy, shows how urgently it is necessary to scale up energy renewal efforts,” they write in an open letter. a letter called “Let’s not let the most modest pay for the energy crisis! “.

“Stop” to the system of energy saving certificates

These are the National Insulator Union (SNI), the Rénovons initiative, the Energy Transition Network (CLER), Stop Energy Exclusion, the Multi-Industry Alliance of Energy Transition Enterprises and Operators (Symbiote), the Group of Professionals for Energy Saving Certifications (GPCEE), the Mineral Wool Insulation Manufacturers (FILMM), the Heating, Aviation and Refrigeration Syndicate (UNICLIMA), the European Cellulosic Insulation Manufacturers Associations (ECIMA) and the Isolons la terre contre le CO2 (CIT) collective.

In fact, these organizations report “strong recession” energy renewal “with several months.” In fact, the work carried out thanks to the Energy Saving Certificate (EEC) system, “There was a sudden shutdown in July 2021 that has continued ever since” they indicate.

“Artisans can no longer provide affordable solutions, especially to the most frugal, and many manufacturers are forced to cut production due to lack of demand,” they add.

Obligation placed on energy suppliers

Energy Conservation Certificates (ESCs), based on the 2005 Energy Policy Guideline Establishment Program (POPE) Act, are based on a three-year energy savings commitment imposed by government agencies on energy providers. The latter must finance works from a catalog approved by the authorities (insulation of walls, attics, etc.) in the service sector, industry, communities and individuals. If they fail to do so, they face a fine commensurate with their violation.

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Energy saving certificates are calculated in kilowatt-hours (kWh) cubic uma (1 CEE = 1 cumac, for “cumulative and discounted”), which reflect the average energy savings achieved between the chosen solution and the reference situation, over the lifetime of the technology. to calculate what would have been consumed if no action had been taken.

The standard operating sheets defined by decrees are drawn up to facilitate the development of energy saving measures, classified by sector, and determine fixed amounts of energy savings in kWh for the most frequent operations. reminds the Ministry of Ecological Transition on its website. This work is most often carried out by specialized companies that have signed this message.

Reducing the insulation of the attic and floor by 75%.

According to them, the market for insulation of attics and floors over the past three months has fallen by 75% compared to last year. BUT “similar decline” it’s the same “expected” in the works on wall insulation due to the halving of their restoration of the EEC from May 1.

The consumer may resort to an energy efficiency certificate because he receives a variable premium depending on the type of work performed and also depending on the CEE price. The latter varies depending on supply and demand. Demand is determined by the amount of energy savings that utilities must fund. Supply refers to the ability of a sector (artisans, manufacturers, etc.) to meet this demand.

“The downward revision of the Boost heating system on April 1 will be the second blow to an already struggling industry. This situation raises fears of a devastating delay in achieving our environmental goals, in combating fuel poverty, and in rebuilding the economy,” continue the ten professional associations and federations.

A call for an overhaul of the system?

However, heating and insulation account for half of the energy certificates (EEC), which are nevertheless the main lever for financing energy modernization. Therefore, the signatories are asking for an increase in the volume of bonds for the 5th period 2022-2025 to 3,000 cumulative terawatt-hours (TWh) from 2,500 TWh at present. Knowing that one terawatt-hour (TWh) corresponds to 11.5 TWh, and that nuclear power produced 360 TWh of electricity in France in 2021, this period would be equivalent to 7.2 months of nuclear power production.

“Such an increase would, among other things, finance nearly 300,000 heat pumps and 2,000,000 attic or low floor insulation,” they calculated.

Should we hear this as a call for an overhaul of the system? A way to also challenge energy providers? However, this has been under discussion since June 2021. Gallery, Mathieu Glachamp, Victor Kahn and François Leveque, researchers at the MINES ParisTech PSL University, for their part, noted that ” government [allait] make the device more efficient in terms of energy saving “.

Energy Saving Certificates: Decrease in Efficiency in Energy Renewal