Energy efficiency in the Paris region: Pullovers for old condos

The Investment Plan for Europe helps Énergies POSIT’IF renovate thousands of condominiums in the Paris region.

If you’ve ever had neighbours who just couldn’t get along, spare a thought for José Lopez. He has 3600 of them, and it’s his job to bring them together.

Lopez is president of Énergies POSIT’IF, a public-private company that aims to make condominium buildings in the Île-de-France region more energy efficient. It’s hard work, because José and his team have to persuade every apartment-owner in a condo building to go along with the plan and to finance their share of the renovation work.

Still, Énergies POSIT’IF just got a helping hand in the form of a EUR 100 million loan from the European Investment Bank as part of the Investment Plan for Europe. The loan means Énergies POSIT’IF doesn’t have to scramble to find commercial banks that will finance a lending plan for each of the apartment-owners in a building. Énergies POSIT’IF will now be able to use the EIB loan to offer financing to the owners.

“Until now we couldn’t provide financing for condominiums,” says Lopez. “We weren’t deploying our complete business model. Now we can give owners the entire package. It makes it very simple for us, and it means we’ll be able to get more energy efficiency work done in a very short time.”

That’s important in the Paris region, where three-quarters of homes are either condominiums or social housing. Apartments built in the Sixties and Seventies—before oil shocks prompted energy efficiency regulations—simply leak heat. Énergies POSIT’IF renovations can save those buildings between 40% and 75% of energy use.

The model that Énergies POSIT’IF can now employ, thanks to the EIB loan, includes its ability to:

  • assess a building for energy-saving potential and design a work plan in consultation with construction firms
  • create a financing plan for the building, which can include pre-financing the energy efficiency grants residents might expect to receive after the project is completed
  • lay out a financing plan for individual owners
  • carry out the renovations, monitoring the work as it’s done