French property for sale – what do the energy efficiency graphs represent?

When you are looking at listings for French houses for sale, you should see two graphs at the bottom of the advertisement showing the energy efficiency; one showing the consummation of energy (DPE) and the second the energy emissions of the property (the GES).

Since 2006, anyone selling a home in France has to have it tested for energy efficiency. The results are then provided to the purchaser when the compromis de vente is signed. The tests are obligatory from the first day that the property is marketed.

To get the results, an expert takes into account the size of the house, the insulation and the heating and the seller has to supply the equivalent of three years of heating bills (oil, wood, electricity, etc.) This data is then fed into software that grades the home according to its efficiency. The results are then valid for ten years.

The grades range from A to G, with A being the most energy efficient, meaning the home requires under 50kWh to heat it. Category G means the home needs more than 451 kWh to heat it. According to the Environment Ministry, 100KWh of heating costs around €11 using electricity, €4.25 using natural gas, €8 using bottled gas and €6.50 using oil.

The test results also include details on how much carbon dioxide is produced by the house. A home in category A for example produces only 6kg per m2 of CO2 a year, while homes graded as G will produce ten times that amount or more. According to a study by the Agence de l’Environnement et de la Maîtrise de L’Energie , 80% of French homes are rated D, E or F, three of the four lowest categories on the energy performance chart. A-rated buildings account for less than 2% of France’s housing stock.

All homes are covered by the regulation except those that don’t have a heating system or are heated solely by open fires.

As for any property purchase, make sure you get professional advice when buying a house in France. If you need help, please get in touch:


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