Towards a ban on new gas boilers? The French government is launching a consultation until July 28 with elected officials and professionals considering banning the installation of new gas boilers, said Monday evening the Ministry of Energy Transition.
CO2 emissions from the building sector in France amounted to 75 million tonnes in 2021 and will have to fall by around 45 Mt to reach 30 Mt in 2030: "This implies drastically reducing emissions related to fuel oil and gas by accelerating the replacement of gas boilers as oil and the insulation of housing", explained the government.
Currently, the use of buildings (excluding construction) represents 18% of greenhouse gas emissions in France, and 60% of this total comes from gas heating, adds the Ministry of Energy Transition. According to statistics from the Centre for Economic Studies and Research on Energy (Ceren), 11.2 million main residences used natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas for heating in France in 2021 (collective or individual). Some 2.7 million primary residences were heated by heating oil and 11.2 million by electricity (including 2.3 million with heat pumps). 3.1 million main dwellings were heated by wood and 1.5 million by district heating.
A ban on the installation of gas boilers "is one of the possibilities for consultation, it is on this subject that we consult the sectors", was indicated to the cabinet of the Minister of Energy Transition on Monday, specifying however that it would be "not an obligation of replacement" and that the evolution would be "very gradual".
Replace them with heat pumps
The consultation, announced last week before the Senate by the Minister of Energy Transition Agnès Pannier-Runacher, "is part of the ecological planning" launched by Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, said the same source. It should make it possible to "secure the achievement of the country's climate commitments by 2030", in particular by seeking to know how to "accelerate the dynamics of deposit of fossil boilers (oil and gas)" in buildings, in the tertiary park and in the residential stock, to replace them mainly with heat pumps.
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A meeting is scheduled next week between Agnès Pannier-Runacher, the Minister of Ecological Transition Christophe Béchu, the Minister in charge of the City and Housing Olivier Klein with the heads of the sectors, industrialists, manufacturers, installers, building and maintenance professionals, consumer associations, owners, tenants, communities, and environmental defense associations. The results of the consultation will be able to "feed the texts of law to come", says the ministry, in particular the draft finance law voted in the autumn for 2024.
The Ma Prime Renov' scheme set up to help finance energy renovation work, especially for the most modest households, has already put an end to aid for the installation of gas boilers, including the most modern ones that recycle their exhaust gases.
According to France Gaz, some 130,000 people in France work in the sector, including 38,000 to 45,000 for the equipment and service of gas boilers. 16,000 installers are identified, a number of whom are being trained on electric heat pumps that emit less CO2 than fossil boilers.