Insights of the presidents of ACERMI on the France Relance recovery plan and ACERMI's contribution

Insights of the presidents of ACERMI on the France Relance recovery plan and ACERMI's contribution

Joint interview with the presidents of ACERMI, Étienne Crépon, president of the CSTB, and Thomas Grenon, president of the National Metrology and Test Laboratory (LNE), on the French energy recovery plan and ACERMI's contribution.

Étienne CRÉPON, Président du CSTB

Étienne CRÉPON

President of CSTB


President of the LNE

Thomas GRENON, Directeur Général du LNE

The French Ministry of Finance has developed an ecological and energy transition recovery plan. Can you tell us about it?

Thomas Grenon: The France Relance recovery plan has been in place for more than a year now to respond to the effects of the Covid-19 crisis and guide the major strategic challenges of France through to 2030.

Étienne Crépon: The €100 billion plan has three components: ecological transition, competitiveness and cohesiveness. The first €30 billion component supports the ecological transition in all sectors that emit high levels of greenhouse gases, including construction, with €6.7 billion for energy renovation in public and private buildings.

T.G.: Ecological transition is a major focus in addressing the climate emergency and is helping to pave our low-carbon path. Energy renovation features prominently in this recovery. The objectives are to increase the use of renewable energy and reduce energy consumption. The need is real and urgent: in the residential sector 17% of homes in France are poorly insulated "thermal sieves," and only 6.6% of housing units are labeled A or B.

Can you describe the expertise of ACERMI in the field of insulation and how the organization can contribute to the recovery plan's success?

E.C.: ACERMI, under the auspices of the CSTB and LNE, enables all insulation professionals to demonstrate the performance of the insulation materials it certifies. Of course, we focus on thermal performance determined according to the purpose the material serves within the structure. There is also ISOLE classification of mechanical (compression, bending, cohesion) and moisture (water and water vapor) behavior. To guide project owners, ACERMI provides a search engine that identifies all certified products that meet their needs.
In addition, in 2013, ACERMI implemented a streamlined procedure called Springboard to enable SMEs to promote the performance of their innovative products through certification of thermal performance, benefiting from the reputation of the ACERMI brand. They have three years to prepare for ACERMI certification.
ACERMI Springboard has already made it possible for over 70 biosourced products, mostly developed by SMEs, to access the market by developing standards specifically designed for them. They include recycled cotton, wood fiber/wool, expanded cork, cellulose wadding and many other products made from.

T.G.: Good insulation reduces energy consumption by up to 65%. It therefore has a place in the France Relance plan. ACERMI certifies insulation materials to guarantee their thermal performance. It is a mark of trust in the values displayed, and it makes it possible to consolidate both the thermal calculations and the overall strategy of building stock renovation. There are more than 900 ACERMI certificates, making a sufficient number of insulation materials to meet all needs. To benefit from renovation subsidies, including the French government's MaPrimeRénov', encouraged in France Relance, the insulation material must have a minimum thermal resistance, which varies depending on thickness combined with conductivity. ACERMI certificates make it possible to meet this obligation and thereby support the growing trend in energy renovations. Since the recovery plan was implemented, more than 500,000 MaPrimeRénov' applications have been filed.

And what about the environmental component? What are ACERMI's expertise and possible contributions in this area?

T.G.: By reducing the energy consumption of buildings, insulation clearly contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Our organization therefore plays a central role in the environmental component. Above all, we want to support industrial innovation through standardization and our Springboard standard. Springboard makes it possible to work with construction stakeholders to certify the thermal performance of insulation materials not covered by existing ACERMI standards. This provides essential support to the industry by offering an increasing selection of insulation materials, especially because the French Environmental Regulations (RE) 2020 emphasize biosourced materials for their thermal qualities and ability to store carbon.

E.C.: Since its founding, ACERMI has contributed to improving information on the real quality of products placed on the market, and ensuring the comparability of various insulation products. It therefore enables project owners and companies to choose the products most suited to their needs so they can increase the reliability of the technical components of projects.
Whether a product is traditional or innovative, its ACERMI certification enables renovation projects to meet the performance criteria required to qualify for Energy Savings Certificates (CEE) or MaPrimeRénov'. So, ACERMI helps in securing project financing.

Your wrap-up?

T.G.: For nearly forty years, ACERMI's mission has been to support an entire ecosystem, from insulation manufacturers to their most diverse stakeholders (from specifiers to citizens). Strengthened by the synergy between the LNE and the CSTB and their complementary expertise, ACERMI has two major priorities: trust and innovation.
Two key pillars for the transitions that we now need. For the LNE, within ACERMI and beyond, these imperatives are even stronger in its other activities.

E.C.: Countering climate change will require massive investment to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. When launching renovation projects, it is essential to choose the most suitable products. Using an ACERMIcertified product assures performance and eligibility for government financial assistance. ACERMI is guiding the energy transition in terms of thermal insulation, particularly through its contribution to reducing energy consumption in buildings and thus to mitigating climate change. After choosing a competent and qualified installation company, using an ACERMIcertified product makes it possible to create any renovation project.

France Relance recovery plan

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