Mur|Mur: Retrofitting private buildings to reduce energy consumption

Location: Grenoble-Alpes Metropole, France

Population: 445,059

Climate: Oceanic

Duration: 2010 – 2014

Sector: Buildings

Funding sources: Public – Private

City networks: Covenant of Mayors

Savings: Carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reduction target: 35% by 2020

Solutions: Mur|Mur is a major private housing renovation scheme developed by Grenoble Metropole.

Multiple benefits: CO2 and economic savings.

Climate change’s severe and visible effects on Grenoble’s mountainous environment prompted the French city to create an Air Energy Climate Plan in 2005. Industry and housing have the most significant levels of energy use among the most polluting sectors, at 40% and 24%, respectively. Grenoble devised the Mur|Mur program to cut CO2 emissions and accomplish its 22 % energy consumption reduction target.

Objective – The first campaign attempted to reduce energy use by retrofitting condominiums constructed between 1945 and 1975.

Solutions – Mur|Mur is a large-scale private dwelling rehabilitation project developed by Grenoble Metropole. From 2010 to 2014, Mur|Mur refurbished 4,467 homes in 84 condominiums, and 173 condominiums received customised support because of Mur|Mur.

The project focuses on thermal insulation of residential housing to make it more energy-efficient and, as a result, reduce CO2 emissions. France has a demand for locally motivated retrofitting initiatives like Mur|Mur because the only incentives available are a national tax credit and 0% rate loans. Tenants’ heating and hot water bills, which account for 73% of a building’s energy use, are reduced by adequately insulating old buildings. Implementing this initiative also helps alleviate fuel poverty, which is still a major social issue in France due to high energy prices.

Funding – Financing source(s): Combination of financial assistance (from La metro and its partners) and monetary incentives (block grants and grants for low-income households).

Total amount: €61 million in work, including €39 million from co-owners and €22 million in subsidies.

Innovation – 1) A communication plan was devised to solve the issues encountered in the original Mur|Mur campaign and urge homeowners to retrofit and raise awareness. It consists of site visits, information meetings, a social media campaign, a Mur|Mur 2 presentation brochure, and a video. Grenoble-Alpes Metropole now intends to increase aid for retrofitting management to make it a permanent public policy; 2)The essential lesson learned from this project is that the retrofitting process requires standardisation of procedures and committed support for property owners. Following the evaluation of Mur|Mur, a one-stop shop was built to provide owners with direct administrative support.

Success factors – 1) Mur|Mur was extended for the period 2016-2021 due to the campaign’s success. This new initiative enabled the creation of new forms of housing in the 49 communes that comprise the Grenoble metropolitan region, including single-family residences and private co-owned multi-occupancy complexes; 2) In response to the initial campaign’s financial issues, Mur|Mur 2 has identified specific collective bank loans to make them accessible to all, as well as improved administrative support through the construction of the one-stop-shop.

Significant outcomes

  • The renovations resulted in 5,200 tonnes of saved CO2 emissions, which translates to savings of €135- 250 per year.

Synergies with local policies:

  • Grenoble’s “Climate Air Energy Plan. The Plan is an important tool for the metropolitan government to lower GHG emissions and respond to climate change. It describes the procedures for monitoring and evaluating the actions undertaken by the urban area.

Political alignment:

  • National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP) sets a final consumption target of 131 Mtoe in 2020. The energy savings measures are expected to save 20.5 Mtoe in 2020 [source];
  • The Energy Transition Act 2015 introduced a provision to halve final energy consumption between 2012 and 2050. As part of the Transition Act, building renovations will be mandatory by 2030 for the least efficient dwellings (specific consumption over 330 kWh/m2). Governmental institutions will have to renew half of their vehicle fleet with low-emission cars [source];
  • The Energy Policy Framework Law 2005defines the objectives and orientations of France´s energy policy. It contains objectives to increase the share of renewable electricity in the national energy mix, diversify energy sources and increase energy efficiency;
  • The draft integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) of France aims to decarbonise the energy system, achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and achieve a reduction of 36% in GHG emissions compared to 2005 levels.

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Sector: Buildings

Country / Region: France

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In 1 user collection: Good practices of cities

Knowledge Object: User generated Initiative

Published by: Energy Cities. The European learning community for future-proof cities