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Recent developments in French fuel poverty policies Ute DUBOIS, ISG Business School, Paris ENERGY ACTION EUROPEAN FUEL POVERTY CONFERENCE,

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Presentation on theme: "Recent developments in French fuel poverty policies Ute DUBOIS, ISG Business School, Paris ENERGY ACTION EUROPEAN FUEL POVERTY CONFERENCE,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Recent developments in French fuel poverty policies Ute DUBOIS, ISG Business School, Paris ENERGY ACTION EUROPEAN FUEL POVERTY CONFERENCE, Dublin, 11 th -12 th March 2013 1

2 French fuel poverty policies in times of transition A bit of history – Since the middle of the 1980s France has developed actions towards people with symptoms of fuel poverty Financial assistance to customers with payment difficulties (1985) Social tariffs for electricity and gas (2004 & 2008) – But without having a global approach of the problem No estimation of the number of households in fuel poverty No definition of fuel poverty 2009/2010: the turning point of fuel poverty policies 2009A first measurement of the number of households in fuel poverty 2010A legal definition of energy precariousness 2011First national fuel poverty programme (Habiter Mieux) 2012Launching of an observatory of fuel poverty 2

3 Different measures of energy precariousness France (2006) Source : Devalière et al. (2011) 621 000 HHs suffering of both

4 Plan of the presentation 1.The transformation of the French approach to fuel poverty A.What? B.Who? C.How? 2.The new approach to fighting fuel poverty A.Thermal refurbishment of buildings: Habiter Mieux B.Education & distribution of small appliances: Achieve & Slime 4


6 A. What ? Three main policy domains Three main policy domains to address the three causes of fuel poverty 1.Households incomes social policy (income support, subsidies) 2.Energy prices and supply conditions regulatory measures (social tariffs & specific protections) 3.Energy efficiency of homes & equipment housing policy, environmental policy (thermal refurbishment, replacement of heating systems)

7 A. What? The emergence of the French policy landscape 1985: 1 st measures (EDF- state contract on a solidarity fund) 1996: EDF discounts for vulnerable customers (techn.interventions) 2009: 1st report estimating extent of fuel poverty 2012: Inclusion of fuel poverty in white certificates 2008: Social tariff for gas (TSS) 2004: Social tariff for electricity (TPN) 2011: Programme Habiter mieux 2004: Reorganisation of solidarity funds for energy (FSL) 2012: social tariffs automatically applied 2002: FSATME (social funds for thermal refurbishment) 1985 1996 2000 2005 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2007: Creation of Médiateur National de lEnergie 2012: Project of progressive tariffs

8 B. Who? 1.Fuel poverty policies have different origins 2.Policies embedded in a larger set of networks & initiatives 3.Today: implementation of actions to reduce fuel poverty at the local level involvement of many local actors in fuel poverty reduction 8

9 B. Who? Different origins of fuel poverty policies Incomes Prices & supply conditions Energy efficiency Energy suppliers (mainly EDF and GDF Suez) 1985 Payment difficulties Limitation of supply interruptions Assistance for thermal renovation State Solidarity fund for energy (FSL) 2004-2008 Decrees on social tariffs & interruptions 2010 Definition of fuel poverty -------- 2011 Programme Habiter Mieux Regional & local government 2004 Decentralisation of solidarity funds Climate & energy policies 9

10 B. Who? Several policy levels involved 10 22 Regions with some competencies in energy policy Ile de France region (2013): priority on fighting fuel poverty 100 Départements Traditionally in charge of social issues More recently: Local climate and energy plans & Local energy agencies in charge of fuel poverty Municipalities Start developing initiatives that go beyond simple financial assistance to households with payment difficulties

11 B. Who? The broader picture of networks & initiatives Housing Climate, environment & energy Social

12 C. How? Widening the scope of interventions Traditional tools of social policy – Financial assistance to alleviate the symptoms New tools to remedy to the causes of fuel poverty Multiplication of instruments – White certificates – Self rehabilitation Networking is the key – At the national level: Rappel network – Locally: Habiter Mieux & the local contracts of commitment – At the European level: Achieve 12 Communication & education Distribution of small appliances Replacement of heating equipments & thermal refurbishment of buildings


14 A. Habiter Mieux: objectives With Habiter mieux, France is engaging in a new type of fuel poverty policy that addresses the causes of fuel poverty, i.e. energy efficiency of homes Targeting: low-income households living in energy inefficient homes (+ aged > 65) – being only poor is not sufficient – Living only in an energy inefficient home is not sufficient either Objective: thermal refurbishment of 300 000 homes over 7 years – Thermal insulation – Replacement of heating equipments – Energy efficiency gain must be 25 % at least Funding: combine different types of resources – ANAH (up to 50 %) – ANAH Habiter Mieux (1600 ) – Local authorities (500 - 1000 ) – Charities, pension funds – Microcredit

15 A. Habiter Mieux: implementation Coordinator: national agency of habitat improvement (Anah) A programme that is declined locally, in the Départements – Local contracts of commitment – Creation of local networks of actors of the identification of fuel poor households (actors already in contact with households) creation of these networks can be seen as an an investment Implementation process 1.Identification of households by members of the network 2.Thermal diagnosis (technical visit) 3.Realisation of thermal renovations Project engineering + financial engineering by a specialised operator

16 A. Habiter Mieux: first results 16 Until November 2012, 9 400 renovations have taken place Average cost of refurbishment: 18 000 Average energy efficiency gain: 38 % Slow start of the programme investment dimension (it takes time to create local networks) Unequal implementation appropriation of the programme strongly dependent on involvement of local actors Source: ANAH (2012)

17 B. Slime & Achieve: develop systematic actions of information and distribution of small appliances 17 France --- SLIME in the Département Gers Germany --- Stromsparcheck (Caritas) Bulgaria, France, Germany, Slovenia & UK --- European project France --- enlarged SLIME coordinated by CLER --- Eligibility to white certificates

18 Conclusion France has developed a new policy approach towards households in fuel poverty – From alleviating the consequences of fuel poverty – To combating the causes of fuel poverty Specificity of the French approach – Recognition that policies based on self-referral will fail to identify many fuel poor people – Therefore, development of proactive approaches of identification First lessons – One challenge: how to make professionals with different backgrounds (social, technical) work together? – More generally, creation of network-type modes of organisation is necessary – But this does not happen automatically (can be assimilated to an investment) 18

19 Thank you for your attention! Ute DUBOIS, ISG Business School, Paris ENERGY ACTION EUROPEAN FUEL POVERTY CONFERENCE, Dublin, 11 th -12 th March 2013 19

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