In France, it is assumed that between 4 and 5 million households are facing fuel poverty, whether because they spend more than 10% of income on total energy costs, or because they impose self- limitations on their energy consumption and suffer from cold at home. A national plan and funding scheme started in 2010, aiming to help 300 000 occupying owners with low-incomes to improve the energy performances of their home from 2017.
However, home visits to analyse case-by-case the situation remain the very beginning step for any following action, whether it is on occupant behaviour or on the building itself. If those visits are not clearly organised, they are not implemented at all.
It relies on the local actors and authorities to find a way to identify the concerned households in their territory, and to organise and finance these mass visits.
In France, the action will be led in two urban areas:
- The Metropolitan area of Plaine Commune that gathers 8 municipalities spread on 42,7 km, and 346 209 inhabitants. The population of Plaine Commune is characterized by its high proportion of working class, single-parent families and households with only one salaried parent. The unemployment rate (11,1%) is the highest of the region, and 31% of the households live below the poverty line. The number of recipients of the Energy solidarity fund (a device that exists in every French county, managed by the General Councils) has raised by 85% from 2002 to 2008, and its total amount has known a 248% increase. Housing in Plaine Commune is generally old and with a bad thermal quality.
- Marseille, which is the second most populated city in France, with 852 400 inhabitants. High disparities exist within the city. An important part of the population is quite poor. More than 17% of the population lives under the poverty line (as against 12% in France). The proportion of single parent families is higher than in France and these families are also poorer: 16% of these families receive social welfare (as against 11% in France). The housing stock is quite old: 85% of the buildings have been built before 1975. More than 80% of the housing stock consist of collective buildings.
To know more about Marseille and Plaine Commune pilot areas, please consult the document "description of the areas targeted in ACHIEVE"