12 November 2018

ECORENO’V, the renovation booster!

[INTERVIEW WITH : Béatrice Vessiller, Deputy Chairman of Lyon Métropole]



In 2015, Lyon Métropole launched its ECORENO’V platform aimed at accelerating eco-renovation in private housing, especially commonhold properties. Three years later, we ask Béatrice Vessiller, Deputy Chairman of Lyon Métropole, for her views on this measure that is gathering pace.

What are Lyon Métropole’s ambitions for its ECORENO’V platform ? 

In the scope of the housing brief of the district’s Energy Climate Plan, we have implemented a voluntary home renovation policy with ECORENO’V. This platform mainly assists private home owners, notably commonhold, by advising them on eco-renovation and offering financial aid. We have set ourselves four objectives: energy savings, thermal comfort of occupants, improvement of architectural quality, and security of energy. Success will rely on all construction interested parties getting involved. To achieve this, a charter was signed in December, 2016 with the commonhold management associations, estate agents, the Building Federation, CAPEB, the Chamber of Trades, the Order of Architects, main building contractors and economists, CAUE, energy engineers, banks—the list goes on. A whole network working toward eco-renovation is now in action in our conurbation!

How does this platform work in practice ?

Lyon’s local energy and climate agency, ALEC, is our privileged partner for this measure. The agency runs an information centre that receives owners who have questions on home renovation. Its job is to advise project owners and assist them with ambitious global renovation projects, notably centred on energy performance, by offering financial aid as well as close-at-hand assistance. To obtain this aid, projects must aim for “BBC” (low consumption building) standards or at the very least 35% energy savings. These projects, most often involving commonhold, are quite lengthy. Two or three years are needed to draft and design an eco-renovation project and reach an agreement with the commonholders. Engineering is therefore essential toward guaranteeing their successful outcome and that’s why we work with ALEC and Soliha as well as with the contractors, whom we aid financially in order to focus more on assisting certain commonholds.

Can you tell us more about the aid that ECORENO’V gives ?

Lyon Métropole has committed to a funding level of 3,500 euros per dwelling if BBC standards are targeted and 2000 euros for work aimed at 35% energy savings. This lowers the remaining costs appreciably given the estimated average renovation cost per commonhold dwelling of €10,000–17,000. The aid is allocated with no conditions regarding resources (except certain cases involving individual houses) and can be coupled with aid from ANAH for modest households. This measure is also available to housing associations, who can enjoy aid up to a ceiling of €5000 per dwelling.

After 3 years of ECORENO’V, what conclusions can be drawn ? 

The impetus has been created in an atmosphere of genuine eagerness. Commonhold managers as well as building main contractors have grasped the idea. So far, 6,400 dwellings—2,400 housing association and over 4,000 private homes—have enjoyed ECORENO’V aid, adding up to over €17m of funding from the metro area. Today, many projects identified at the outset by ALEC are reaching maturity. At the end of 2018 and through 2019, 8,000 private homes and 2,000 affordable-rent homes should benefit from ECORENO’V. The initial ECORENO’V investment budget was €30m for the whole project. But given the rising demand, the district has decided to allocate an extra €20m by 2020. We will be able to back even more projects. 

You’ve just introduced a bonus for using bio-sourced materials. What is your ambition here ?

Bio-sourced materials are healthy, efficient, and less of an energy hog. They tie in well with our policy and with the new regulations. To encourage their use, a bonus of up to 2,500 euros is granted to projects comprising bio-sourced insulation or joinery. We want to get companies and contractors involved by communicating regularly with them on the effectiveness of these materials and showing them successful projects. On the contractors’ side, skills in implementing these materials need reinforcing. Training will be an important issue in the deployment of these materials. Last but not least, communication to the general public will be another lever in this new initiative. 

What are Lyon Métropole’s next objectives ?

We are going to intensify our actions with private house owners, who account for 19% of homes in the metro area while consuming 32% of the energy. We will notably be leaning on property solicitors and estate agents in order to encourage eco-renovation work when a house is being bought. But there is also much to be done in local authority buildings—with 500,000 square metres of educational, office, and service establishments, including “Hôtel de la Métropole”, the district hall, the renovation needs are huge. Today, to fulfil Climate Air Energy Plan objectives, we must work together on all fronts, provide a strong metropolitan policy in liaison with the municipalities, perform concrete actions for the townspeople and businesses, with a lot of education and communication aimed at the public at large.

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