Published on: 1 August 2022
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Application for the energy voucher: how does it work?
Every year, the French are more and more concerned about the amount of their energy bill. These costs correspond to the gas and electricity consumption of a household. The price of these consumptions soars a little more each year so that some decide to lower their heating consumption even in winter.
Since 2018, the State has set up an energy check: financial assistance for households in the most economic difficulty. This energy check can be used to pay an energy bill (gas and electricity) or for energy renovation work. Concretely, this check lightens the end of the month by recovering part of the energy bill or takes care of energy work which is expensive but which allows energy savings to be made over the long term. How to benefit from it? We tell you everything!
How do I apply for an energy voucher?
The energy check does not require any administrative procedure on your part. And yes, it changes! If you can benefit from the energy check, you will receive your check directly in your mailbox. Two criteria exist to receive it: on the one hand to declare your taxes in France, on the other hand not to exceed a defined income threshold. Indeed, the energy check is a social aid that has been put in place to support the most modest households in this context of soaring gas and electricity prices. This is why this aid is not distributed to all households in France. It is subject to means testing. It has been decided that all households below the threshold of €10,800 in income per year can benefit from this aid.
Depending on your reference tax household, you will be entitled to assistance of between €48 and €277. The energy check is received in March or April. You then have 1 year from March 31 of the year of receipt to use it.
The energy check allows you to pay your bills related to gas and electricity consumption, but not only. If you are a beneficiary of this financial aid from the State, you can also use it to carry out energy renovation work. The advantage of carrying out energy work is that it reduces gas and electricity consumption and therefore saves energy.
In the event that the work is invoiced before the expiry date of the energy voucher, you can use it to pay your invoice related to these renovations. Conversely, if the work is invoiced after the expiry date of your energy check, you can request another one which will only be used for energy work. You can accumulate checks for a maximum of 3 years from the date of issue. However, these checks cannot be used to pay your energy bills.
Other ways to reduce your energy bills
The energy check is not the only aid that exists to help you pay your energy bills. The Fonds de Solidarité pour le Logement (FSL) is another financial and social aid that can help you pay your bills relating to your gas and electricity consumption. The FSL was created to help the most modest French households to keep their accommodation and to pay all the bills related to the costs of accommodation. These charges can relate to energy bills, the amount of the telephone subscription, but also quite simply the rent! Each department has its own Solidarity Fund for Housing, so you must refer to your department to find out the amount you can benefit from.
Regarding the eligibility of this solidarity financial aid, the rule is the same as for the amount: each department has its specificities. Unlike the energy voucher, this aid is subject to means testing since it is intended to help the most economically disadvantaged households. The tax income of the household must therefore not exceed a certain threshold in order to benefit from this solidarity fund.
To benefit from this Housing Solidarity Fund, you can send your request locally to the Communal Center for Social Action (CCAS) in your municipality. This is also an opportunity to find out about all the help you can benefit from!
To lower your energy bills, there are a few simple tips that you can apply on a daily basis:
- Heating is the first energy consumption item, and it can often be easily reduced. There is no point in overheating! There are connected thermostats that can help you program your heating to maintain an optimal temperature throughout the year.
- Let your radiators diffuse their heat as much as possible so as not to have to increase the temperature by avoiding surrounding them with large pieces of furniture.
- Depending on the energy chosen, the bill can increase or decrease. Some homes can be connected to natural gas rather than electricity, which is much more expensive. Switching to a gas boiler can be a little costly, but in the long term, this investment will be worthwhile to reduce your energy bills.
- Remember to maintain your boiler to avoid any defects that would increase the amount of the energy bill.
- Opt more for the oven rather than the microwave which consumes a lot. Concerning the oven, there is no need to preheat it systematically, it consumes much more while preheating is not necessarily mandatory.
- Buy energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances.
- You can also choose to install solar panels on your roof. These are very expensive energy works but very profitable in the long term. If you are expecting an exceptional cash flow, consider this investment that can be useful to you.
In 2021, more than 5.8 million French people benefited from the energy check and 15% carried out energy work according to a survey conducted by Kantar. To no longer impact your purchasing power with energy bills that have been increasing for several years, you now know all the aid you can benefit from as well as the tips that will help you lower your consumption!