Ban on heated terraces: an ecological issue but also jobs

If the heated terraces represent 30% of the turnover in the hotel and catering sector, the ecologists, them, see red as soon as one speaks to them about these installations.

While the city of Rennes has banned heating on terraces on January 1, officially becoming the first French city to ban them completely, we have confronted their positions.

Thierry Salomon, vice-president of the ecological association Negawatt: “It’s not reasonable”


Is heating a terrace really bad for the environment?

THIERRY SALOMON. Very few studies have been done on the subject, but when we do the calculation, we understand that it is a real mistake. Take a 75 m2 terrace heated by five gas braziers. If you use it 14 hours a day from mid-November to mid-March, your heater will emit 13.6 t of CO2, the equivalent of what a new car would emit if it went around the Earth three times. . As they are exposed to the wind, these terraces consume on average 20 times more heating per square meter than well insulated housing.

In Paris, gas heaters are prohibited.

If we take the same example, this would involve ten radiant electric heaters and consumption would be halved. But that would still consume the equivalent over a year of nine times the consumption of a household in specific electricity: that is to say all the electrical appliances of the house except heating and hot water. In Paris alone, where more than 12,000 terraces are heated, this is equivalent to the annual specific electricity consumption of 220,000 inhabitants.

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Coffee makers claim the right to the comfort of their customers.

I myself am a client of these heated terraces, but frankly it is not reasonable. Everyone was rightly shocked that the stadiums in Doha were air-conditioned in the open air. We made fun of them, but heating tens of thousands of terraces all winter is very much worse.

Franck Trouet, general delegate of the national group of hotel independents: “Jobs at stake”

/ Twitter / Franck Trouet
/ Twitter / Franck Trouet

Unlike Rennes, Paris has not yet wanted to ban heated terraces.

FRANCK TROUET. You should know that 30% of our turnover depends on our terraces and that there are jobs at stake. In Paris, the average temperature very slightly exceeds 12 ° C and there is a strong demand from customers so that the terraces are heated in winter. Our customers are waiting to be welcomed on comfortable terraces and it is the last place where we can chat over a drink while smoking a cigarette at the same time.

But at the time of the climate emergency, is heating a terrace really reasonable?

This is a natural question that obviously must be asked today. And if tomorrow, we were offered an intelligent solution to offer as much comfort as heating, we would immediately be takers.

In some countries, cafes offer blankets to their customers.

Proposing throws is indeed an interesting option. Next year, the new regulations for terraces and displays will be under discussion in Paris and we would be well advised to discuss this matter with the town hall. Our desire is also to work with our suppliers of heating nozzles to find less energy-consuming models or to supply themselves with green electricity from renewable energies. This would combine socio-economic imperative and respect for the environment.

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Le Parisien, partner of the consultation “How to act together now for the environment?” ”, Initiated by, invites you to submit your ideas and vote on those of the other participants in the module below. You will be informed of the results in February 2020.

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