"There will be no one left (...) 90% of the resort's beds are in this scenario", warns Jean Mounicq, mayor of Aragnouet, a town in the Hautes-Pyrénées on which the highest ski resort depends. of the massif.
Nestled at the foot of cliffs at nearly 2.000 meters above sea level, most of the accommodation on the site falls under categories F or G in the energy performance diagnosis (EPD), according to an estimate by the renovation consulting company Heero.
If these energy-intensive apartments, almost all furnished tourist accommodation, still escape the progressive rental ban introduced by the Climate Law, they will soon be subject to it, announced in October Olivier Klein, Minister Delegate for the City and Housing, on BFM Business . "We have to work for it to be the same rules," he said.
The exact deadline is still uncertain, but is making communities and tourism professionals cringe, already impacted by the scarcity of snow and soaring energy costs.
Built in the 1970s and 1980s, the Piau Engaly accommodations, semi-circular sets of four or five floors, blend into the steep landscape of the resort, bordered by the Pyrenees natural park and the Néouvielle reserve.
"When you're on the slopes, you don't see the buildings," smiles the mayor of Aragnouet, watching the skiers hurtle down the slopes, under the sun.
Here, as in most French ski resorts, the energy problem is omnipresent, according to a study by the National Federation of Real Estate (Fnaim) published in January.
It shows that "the share of energy-intensive housing (labels F or G) is much greater in ski resort towns (38%) than in all metropolitan towns (21%)".
This prevalence is explained by the impact of low outside temperatures, and by the poor quality of construction of these tourist accommodations, massively built in the 1970s and 80s, when skiing was booming.
“At the time, in three or six months, we left a building. Now, we need three years, notes the mayor. So of course, there were not the same standards.
"These residences were built like all those of the time, they are not necessarily badly made", explains Thibaut Vergé, condominium manager. But "here, it falls on average four meters of snow per year", he points out, which weighs down their energy performance.
According to Fnaim, "more than 3/4 of accommodation in ski resort towns" could be prohibited from renting by 2034, depending on their DPE category. In Piau, the problem could arise from 2025 for the lowest ranked.
Their ban on rental would threaten the survival of the station because, apart from two residences, they all date from before the 1980s, according to the mayor.
The site being "rather remote, at the bottom of the chain", access is not easy and the clientele comes "from afar", mainly from the Atlantic coast and therefore lodges on site and in the surroundings, specifies the manager of station, Colin Dorignac.
But "Piau is a resort with a future in terms of snow potential. So it's essential for us to start renovation work," he adds.
If some owners have already initiated them, others "have not changed, we still have toaster radiators", admits Jean Mounicq, who wrote in February to all the co-owners to inform them of the upcoming bans.
"I am one of those who think that we have to do it (...) but we cannot suddenly decide that on such a date, in three years everything must be done, otherwise you will not be able to rent more", he thunders.
According to Loïc Cantin, president of the Fnaim, such a measure must be accompanied. “We need equal treatment,” he believes, regretting the non-eligibility for aid from owners of furnished tourist accommodation.
"If there is no major aid, deplores the mayor, it will be financially impossible!"