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New Paper : A. Missemer, S. Swaton (2017), "Précarité énergétique et fiscalité écologique, retour sur l’expérience avortée du chèque vert français"

par Estelle Carciofi - publié le

Antoine Missemer, Sophie Swaton (2017), "Précarité énergétique et fiscalité écologique, retour sur l’expérience avortée du chèque vert français [Fuel poverty and ecological taxation : a retrospective look at the French green check failed experience]", Natures Sciences Sociétés


At the end of the 2000s, a green check system was developed in France to correct distortions resulting from the introduction of the carbon tax. One of these distortions was the development of fuel poverty. This paper starts by giving a multi-dimensional definition of this poverty, insisting on the structural factors (accommodation, transport) that account for the energy vulnerability of households. We show that this French green check, which consisted chiefly in a monetary compensation provided, with modulation, to all households was an injudicious solution to address fuel poverty. The reason was its inadequate calibration as regards the structural dimensions of fuel poverty. Most of the new versions of the green check developed around 2010 still missed the target by ignoring some structural dimensions of fuel poverty, or by multiplying the policy goals with insufficient means. Looking back on these experiences, we contend that the main problems do not result from the green check itself, but rather from the lack of proper indicators to define and measure fuel poverty, in particular regarding its structural dimensions. Circumstantial and local public policies, as some of them are being now developed, might be useful to better delineate fuel poverty and to assess the accuracy of national-based ecological taxation in addressing these phenomena.

Key words

fuel poverty / ecological taxation / carbon tax / green check

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