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January 18, 2018
Vilogia is the first housing association in France to demonstrate 10 net zero energy (NZE) houses using the Energiesprong approach. Retrofit of another 160 houses are planned for the North of France subject to the outcome of a new bid.
After the renovation the tenants will have a much more comfortable home and will benefit from a lower energy bill. Annually, their ‘new’ homes will generate sufficient energy to heat the house, provide hot water and power household appliances. The launch of the first 10 retrofit in France is an important milestone because it shows that the Energiesprong approach is also technically
applicable in the French market. There is still work to be done concerning legal issues. In France, social housing tenants cannot yet fully profit from self-consumption and renewable energy production. So law must be changed to introduce an Energiesprong energy bill policy similar to the Netherlands.
You will find the small town of Hem about a 20 minutes drive from Lille. Big villas and even a gated community stand side by side with a neighbourhood where the houses would obviously benefit from a make over.
The experience in the Netherlands (where hundreds of these retrofits have already been done) shows that such projects can breathe new life into neighbourhoods like this. Besides the upgrade to how the homes look, the process itself has proven to encourage social cohesion.