Three types of programmes for improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings have been in place since 1975:
-- Decision-making assistance aimed at encouraging owners to carry out energy saving improvements, in particular through a thermal diagnostic tool.
-- Regulation and standardisation of components with, in particular, the regulation of boiler performance as from 1975.
-- Investment assistance, subject to various terms and conditions such as direct subsidies or tax incentives. Twenty five concerted operations for a large-scale retrofitting of buildings are in preparation. They will be implemented at the local level and will concern energy savings on space heating, hot water, cooling and demand-side management. The selection of municipalities and sites will be based on a precise evaluation of the potential for energy savings and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the area. All residential, commercial and institutional buildings are concerned. Subsidies will be provided by ADEME, the municipalities, ANAH (French Agency for Improvement of Existing Dwellings) and by associated public bodies for pre-audits, audits and feasibility studies, energy conservation investments, information and training. Each operation will last four to five years. The 25 operations are to be implemented by ADEME from now on. A large-scale funding system gathering private and public money to finance retrofitting operations will be implemented. The amount of this public financing for energy savings can be assessed at Fr 2.5 billion in 1992. The incentives are as follows: -- Tax reductions: income tax reductions were available from 1 January 1990 until 31 December 1995 for heat insulation improvements, heating regulation, the replacement of boilers or in some instances the installation of a wood stove in main residences built before 1 January 1982. This measure was renewed in 1996. The tax reduction is valid for any type of work (not only energy management improvements) if it is carried out by professionals. The CEKAL label for double glazing and the ACERMI label for insulation are still in force but are no longer a condition to obtain this tax reduction. -- Grants for housing improvements: this government subsidy is to help low-income homeowners improve their main residence if it is over 20 years old. -- Grants from ANAH, the National Housing Improvement Agency: this grant aims at helping improve privately owned rented housing units built more than 15 years ago. -- Grants for rental and social housing improvements (PALULOS): this grant assists organisations to improve the rental housing units they own or manage for social welfare purposes, rented to house low-income people, and which are more than 15 years old.ed. In the 2002 budget, building energy retrofits benefit from a tax reduction of 15% of expenses to a maximum of € 8 000 per family.