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Sun, wind, wood, soil heat... Their energy can heat a house or even produce electricity to resell or consume. The key is savings and a preserved environment. Panorama of solutions.

Natural energies at the service of the house

Bbio, Cep and Tic: the new rules

Since January 2012, new buildings as well as extensions and extensions of houses must be made in compliance with the thermal regulations (RT) 2012. Much more stringent than the previous (RT 2005), it defines three "coefficients" expressing the needs related to the heating, air conditioning and lighting. And for everyone, the thresholds not to exceed according to the region and the surface of the house. Thus, Bbio (conventional bioclimatic need) expresses the energy needs; the Cep (Conventional consumption coefficient of primary energy) relates to the annual consumptions reduced per square meter; Tic (conventional indoor temperature) characterizes this temperature during periods of high heat. To be able to respect the thresholds, a thermal study is essential before the project. It makes it possible to propose technical solutions and to check them when the site is completed. In many cases, the use of renewable energies becomes essential.

Bonus of COS under conditions

Since a decree of 2007, it is possible to obtain from the municipal council an authorization to exceed the COS (coefficient of land occupation) of 30%, if you install equipment using renewable energies or if your new house responds to very strict consumption requirements. For any information, consult your town hall.

What financial aid?

Tax credit, reduced VAT rate, zero-rate eco-loan, Duflot scheme, subsidies from Anah (National Housing Agency) or local authorities... A range of solutions exists to facilitate your investment. They apply to the cost of materials and / or labor, to homeowners and sometimes to landlords, some for old homes, others for new ones. The sustainable development tax credit (SDTC) rates for the acquisition of energy production equipment using a renewable energy source differ according to the investment: 32% for a wind turbine or a heater solar water; 26% for a thermodynamic water heater, a geothermal heat pump, a stove or a pellet replacement boiler; 15% for an air-water heat pump; 11% for the installation of photovoltaic solar panels. Reserved for dwellings of more than two years and principal residences, the CIDD concerns the work carried out by a company. Their amount (excluding labor) is capped at € 8,000 including VAT for a single person and € 16,000 for a married or PACS couple, plus € 400 including tax per dependent. As part of a bunch of at least two jobs (insulation of roofs, glazed or opaque walls, purchase of heating equipment or production of hot water running on wood...), the rates of the CIDD can be increased to 40% (wind and solar water heater), 34% (thermodynamic water heater, pellet stove or replacement boiler, geothermal heat pump), 23% (air-water heat pump).
To know more: developpement-lasting. gouv.fr/Le-credit-d-impotdeveloppement, 28834.html or renovation-info-service.gouv. fr (n° Azur: 0810 140 240).

Solar energy

The sun to heat the water

Wherever it is in France, solar thermal collectors are now sufficiently efficient to produce between 50 and 70% of domestic hot water needs (100% in summer) and 50% in heating. Just install panels, facing south, on the roof or on a facade. Another source of energy must however provide the complement during the coldest periods. The panels consist of a network of black tubes in which circulates a coolant (water + antifreeze). When it is hot, this liquid goes into a heat exchanger to transfer heat to the water flowing through the house. A resistance or a second heat exchanger connected to a boiler provides the complement.

Natural energies at the service of the house: service

To produce 50 to 70% of its domestic hot water, a family of four must install 2 to 3 m2 solar thermal collectors in the South and almost 5 m2 in the north.

The sun to heat a part of the house

To heat the house, the heat transfer fluid passes through a floor heating network or low temperature radiators. Count 1 m2 sensors to heat between 8 and 10 m2 (depending on the region). The overall cost of this type of installation does not exceed that of a central heating system with oil or gas of very good quality. But only covers half of your needs. A complementary solution (usually a gas boiler or electric heater) is therefore necessary. The operating cost is then limited to the maintenance and energy expenditure of this auxiliary heater.

Produce electricity with the sun

Solar radiation can also be used for the production of electricity at home by means of photovoltaic panels. The objective is then to sell its production by injecting it into the network: your distributor is obliged to buy it at the rate set by the State. To benefit from the highest purchase price, the rated power of the equipment must be less than or equal to 9 kW and the panel system must be integrated into the frame (and not just placed on the roof). The rate decreases each quarter, but it remains higher than the price at which you buy electricity. In the end, you earn money by helping to provide some of the energy that feeds your area. The investment is then generally profitable in less than ten years.

Wind energy

Install a wind turbine

You can take advantage of a similar financial package by replacing photovoltaic panels with a domestic wind turbine. With a power of 2 to 5 kW, it is mounted on a mast several meters high. The investment is profitable in the only regions where the winds blow at more than 20 km / h on average over the year (western facade of the country, Vendée in Pas-de-Calais, Rhone valley and Languedoc coast), but this profitability is not reached for ten years. The installation of a wind turbine requires a permit application in the town hall (building permit or prior declaration of work according to the height of the mast).

Natural energies at the service of the house: energies

In the most wind-exposed regions, a wind turbine produces energy to power a house, especially when it is far from the distribution network (direct consumption or battery storage).

Use a heat pump

Heating through the earth, air or water is possible with geothermal or aerothermal. This consists in capturing the outside heat to diffuse it into the house, after a heat pump (PAC) has raised the temperature. This pump works like an inverted refrigerator, producing heat from ambient energy while consuming very little electricity. It restores 3 to 5 kWh for 1 kWh consumed: this is called the coefficient of performance (COP). Aerothermal heat pumps send the calories from the air to a hot water circuit (air / water) or to a hot air diffuser (air / air). Installed outdoors, they can satisfy up to 80% of needs (additional heating is necessary). They are effective for heating homes from 100 to 250 m2 in regions without temperatures below - 10° C. Be careful however to the neighborhood, even if the facilities are less and less noisy. Geothermal heat pumps draw the calories from the ground to supply a water heating circuit and low temperature transmitters (underfloor heating or radiators). The most common system consists of a horizontal network of buried sensors at 60 cm depth. A catchment area of ​​150/200 m2 heats a house of 100 m2. If the land is too small, vertical drilling is possible, but this solution is more expensive and subject to administrative authorization.

Natural energies at the service of the house: heat

Geothermal energy to heat the house

Geothermal energy converts energy from land or groundwater into heat. Its main domestic application is heating via heat pumps coupled with buried sensors.

Natural energies at the service of the house: heat

Aerothermal to heat a part of the house

Aerothermal energy consists of capturing calories in the outside air through a heat pump (PAC). An easy solution to implement because it does not require a capture surface. The outdoor unit is not very noisy. The heating is provided by a hydraulic circuit that supplies a floor heating / cooling, radiators or fan coil.

Natural energies at the service of the house: natural

Aerothermal to heat water

The thermodynamic water heater (CET) consists of a one or two element heat pump and a storage tank for producing domestic hot water. The calories are recovered either in the ambient air of the room where the appliance is installed (laundry room, boiler room, cellar...), or in the air extracted by a controlled mechanical ventilation (VMC) to which it is directly connected. They can also be retrieved via an outdoor unit (split type). But the system is then subject to the vagaries of climate and its noise may hinder the neighborhood. Whatever the device, the tank must always be equipped with an electric booster (or via another boiler) to ensure a temperature rise to 60° C minimum. CET is easy to install and can complete an existing installation without upsetting it.

Heating with wood

There remain boilers with wood. Today they use pellets (or pellets) as fuel. They require hardly more maintenance than conventional gas or oil-fired boilers, and can produce heating water and domestic hot water without supplement. In addition, they show exceptional returns (95% for models with automatic loading). Delivered at home, pellets (small cylindrical rods compacted sawdust) are loaded into the boiler as a liquid. They offer excellent heating value and an unbeatable price. Their combustion generates little ash, handling is limited. But the initial investment is high.

Natural energies at the service of the house: service

Inserts, closed hearths and wood stoves no longer play the simple extras. New generation appliances use pellets or logs as fuel. They can provide additional heating, or all in a house very well insulated.


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