Buildings account for 46% of the total energy consumption and 25% of greenhouse gas emissions in France. For this reason, insulating them, in the face of environmental issues, is now a necessity.
Whether you are building a new dwelling or renovating an existing home, it is possible to significantly reduce the environmental impact of these buildings by improving its energy efficiency. Good insulation alone can dramatically improve a buildings efficiency and save up to 80% on energy bills in the process.
The Climate Plan, which was set in motion by the French Government following the Kyoto Protocol, has the goal of reducing energy consumption of buildings by 4 times by 2050.
There are several options available for insulating a new home and it pays to apply the most thermally efficient products from the beginning of a buildings life to reap the most benefits.
Applying insulation to an existing dwelling is a little more difficult as this can cause disruption for the residents as well as be more costly.
There are options however, such as Kingspan Insulation’s Kooltherm K5 external rendered system. This sees the exterior of the house wrapped in boards, instantly improving the homes energy efficiency, and once coated with a low maintenance polymer modified render, also helps update and improve its appearance.
As it is the role of insulation to slow the process of heat moving from warm to cold areas it makes sense that specifying insulation with the best thermal performance possible will save energy and is the best environmentally sustainable action to take.
Despite this, one of the most overlooked facts about environmentally sustainable buildings is whether the building will perform to the required thermal performance for the duration of its lifetime.
The performance of some insulation products can deteriorate rapidly if exposed to water penetration, air movement or compression. This may increase operational energy use and hence could compromise the environmental sustainability of the building to an alarming degree.
The use of a closed cell rigid boards in attic spaces ensures no loss of thermal performance for the lifetime of the building, as it does not succumb to these factors – a feature open cell insulation materials cannot boast.
And although upgrading an existing home’s insulation can be more costly than starting from scratch, now is the time to do it as you may well be able to take advantage of a number of government incentive schemes, implemented following the Grenelle Environment Forum, which can help save you money on the upgrade works and of course don’t forget you’ll also be saving in the long-term, with lower energy bills.
The tax credit can save you up to 40% off your income tax return for the following tax year. This can also be combined with interest free loans and, insulation materials also benefit from a reduced VAT rate of 5.5% saving 12% on your bill.
This is a tax incentive available to owners and tenants to deduct from their taxes a portion of the expenses incurred in connection with energy saving upgrade work carried out on their primary residence. This saving applies to both the price of materials and the cost of labour. It can range from 25 to 40% of the invoice amount for the work carried out.
One thing to remember is that the scheme is subject to the use of certified products and achieving a minimum thermal resistance as detailed in the scheme.
Interest Free Eco Loan
This is an interest free bank loan for owners wishing to undertake renovation work to improve the overall energy performance of their home. It can be used to finance up to €30,000 of work.
Again do bear in mind that all work must be carried out by professionals in a dwelling used as a primary residence built before 1st January 1990. You must also be able to prove the energy improvement achieved by the work carried out.
Good insulation can help you slash your heating bills and significantly reduce greenhouse emissions generated by poorly insulated homes.
Kingspan Insulation is committed to providing high performance insulation, certified and simple to install, to allow you to reach this goal. For more information on the Kooltherm range of next generation insulation products, and their applications for new build and refurbishment, please contact us at [email protected].