Sunday, November 28

Environment. End of heated terraces: public opinion divided

The heated terraces, it’s over! At least in Lyon, where the mayor EELV Grégory Doucet announced Friday the ban on “all types of heating” on the terraces of bars and restaurants in the city, “whether fixed or mobile”. In the rest of France, consumers can still benefit from it, but not for long: from March 31, 2022, the measure will be generalized to the whole of France.

The decree taken by the mayor of Lyon allows him to respect one of his campaign promises. By removing the heating on the terrace from this winter, the municipality wishes to move towards “more sobriety in the use of energy and resources, for buildings as in public spaces”. In other words, outlaw installations that consume too much energy.


According to calculations by the environmental association Negawatt, a 75m² terrace equipped with propane braziers consumes 50,400 kWh each winter and emits 13.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Clearly, it generates emissions equivalent to that of a new sedan that would travel 122,000 km, or “three times around the globe at the equator.” If this same terrace were equipped with infrared heating, its annual consumption would be the same as that of nine families (excluding heating and hot top).

According to Emmanuelle Wargon, the former Minister of Ecological Transition, the end of heated terraces would even represent “half a million tonnes of CO2 saved each year”. By way of comparison, 443 million tonnes of CO2e were emitted in France in 2019 according to Le Citepa (Technical Interprofessional Center for Atmospheric Pollution Studies).

A third of the French are in favor

The same year, more than 2 in 3 French people agreed that heated terraces represent a significant loss of energy, according to a YouGov poll*. But they were just as numerous (67%) to frequent them more or less regularly in winter. And more than 8 out of 10 smokers used to settle there.

Also, barely a third of French people were in favor of banning heated terraces, even though most considered this measure beneficial for the environment. Since then, it has been included in the climate and resilience law, inspired by the proposals of the Citizen’s Climate Convention.

Fewer customers?

In the summer of 2020, Barabara Pompili, Emmanuelle Wargon’s successor, announced that patio heaters would disappear, but not before spring 2021. This will only be the case a year later, just to allow time professionals in the sector, already penalized by the pandemic, to adapt.

Because they fear a significant loss of income. Heated terraces represent 30% of turnover in the hotel and restaurant industry according to the GNI (National Group of Independents). But in Rennes, where heated terraces have not existed for almost two years, cafetiers and restaurateurs have not observed a drop in private customers, as reported. Point.

At the national level, a decree will soon set out the specific cases “requiring special attention for the implementation of the ban or support”, indicates the Ministry of Ecological Transition on its site. In Lyon, details will be provided on Wednesday by the mayor.

* Omnibus study carried out from December 18 to 19, 2019 with 1,007 people representing the national population aged 18 and over, according to the quota method.

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