Banks, poor students of energy renovation

Passage almost obligatory for any real estate project, the banks would however be lagging behind in terms of energy renovation. This is what emerges from a study conducted by the online broker Pretto and the actor Effy published on Tuesday 05 April (1).

According to the survey, the French are aware of the issue of the energy performance of their home: 52% say they are attentive to the energy performance diagnosis (EPD) of their home. But their knowledge has limits: 47% are unaware of energy renovation aid schemes. A significant figure that contrasts with the government’s efforts to simplify existing solutions. Since 1East January 2022, the Ministry of Housing notably launched the France Rénov platform, a new single portal for individuals.

While waiting for the message to take root in people’s minds, the French still tend to turn mainly to their bank adviser to talk about renovation. “It is the one which allows the real estate project and which could therefore finance the work to be undertaken», explains Pierre Chapon, president of Pretto. Logical reflex then. Except that individuals seem to have trouble finding relevant advice. 68% of respondents said that their bank adviser was unable to provide them with advice on financing arrangements. “Energy renovation is not yet at the heart of banking practices, develop fintech leader. It takes time for a strategic decision to materialize in the training of counselors in the field, including for establishments that would like to make it a priority.

Rise in refusals of funding for thermal sieves

The delay of the banks would therefore be due to operating delays and not to a lack of will. “All the banks tell us they are looking into the subject“says Pierre Chapon. Yet denials of thermal sieve funding are on the rise. Bankers are beginning to shun these homes, the value of which is in question: from 2023, the most energy-intensive homes can no longer be rented. With less operating use, the sanction of the market may not be long in coming. To avoid this, the owners will have no choice but to start work. But their debt capacity could then pose a problem.

Pierre Chapon, who thinks that the refusals of financing of thermal sieves should increase, adds that the inflation of the cost of energy will reinforce the energy component in the household budget. “However, today, it is not taken into account in the calculation of indebtedness“, he specifies. According to figures from the Ministry of Housing, 11 million French people are still housed in thermal sieves, i.e. 4.8 million homes.

Bankers are lagging behind, but the situation does not seem better on the side of brokers. Asked about the subject, Pierre Chapon underlines the thorny question of the economic model. “Brokers are well placed to take their place in the market and they will need to think about how to position themselves there“, he says, adding that the amounts of the renovation per gesture are too low to justify intermediation.

(1): Pretto/Happydemics survey (carried out from February 24 to March 8, 2022 with 1,053 people.

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