A non-major has received up to $60 million in funding to launch a green home loan as part of a broader push to promote the construction of energy-efficient housing.
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has announced that it has provided up to $60 million in funding to Bank Australia for its inaugural green home loan.
The initiative will enable Bank Australia to offer an interest rate discount of 0.4 per cent to eligible builders and home buyers who take up its new Clean Energy Home Loan product.
The interest rate discount will be provided through its Premium Package Home Loan to mortgages below $1.5 million.
The approval of the discounted rate, which will apply for up to five years, is conditional upon borrowers who buy or build homes achieving a minimum of 7 stars under the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS), which rates the energy efficiency of a home based on its design.
According to the CEFC, the 7-star rating materially exceeds the minimum standards of the National Construction Code, with homes built according to such measures requiring less energy for heating and cooling.
The benefits of the green loan will later be extended to existing borrowers looking to make green home improvements, including energy monitoring and energy storage systems, solar hot water and energy-efficient air conditioning.
Following the announcement, CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said: “This green home loan will fill a gap in the market, giving builders and new home buyers a financial incentive to adopt sustainable design principles from the start of the project.
“New homes built today will be in use for decades to come. We want those homes to have the strongest energy efficiency and to deliver the smallest carbon footprint possible.
“Australians are already leading the world in residential rooftop solar. Our next challenge is to embrace better building design and construction methods, as well as energy efficiency, to cut our energy use and reduce our emissions.”
Bank Australia managing director Damien Walsh added: “We’re proud to reward people who choose to make their homes more sustainable through our Clean Energy Home Loan.
“Working in partnership with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation means we can bring this innovative new product to market sooner and help more Australians.”
CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth concluded: “Cutting energy demand is a low-cost way to decarbonise the property sector and reduce stress on the electricity network.
“We are looking forward to working with Bank Australia in giving Australians an added financial incentive to choose cleaner, greener options when it comes to their homes.
“We encourage all those involved in residential property – from design to development to purchase – to include a stronger focus on carbon emissions when they are making these long-term decisions about building and buying new homes.”
[Related: SME lender announces policy changes]
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