A new green home offered by Bank Australia will offer allow prospective home owners to secure discounted finance to build or buy a home with a 7-plus star rating under the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS).
A 7 star home is more energy efficient than most, with six stars currently the minimum NatHERS standards in the National Construction Code.
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation is providing $60 million in finance for the new Bank Australia “Clean Energy Home Loan”, which will allow eligible borrowers to secure a 0.4 per cent discount on their home finance.
“Working in partnership with the CEFC means we can bring this innovative new product to market sooner, and help more Australians reduce the impact their homes have on the environment,” Bank Australia managing director Damien Walsh said.
The interest rate discount will be available to customers via the bank’s Premium Package Home Loan to mortgages below $1.5 million.
CEFC chief executive Ian Learmonth said the new loan will “fill a gap in the market”, with green mortgages yet to take off in Australia despite Bendigo Bank becoming the first Australian bank to offer a green home loan product way back in 2002.
Mr Learmonth also said the offering will encourage builders and new homes to adopt NatHERS design principles from the start.
“Cutting energy demand is a low-cost way to decarbonise the property sector and reduce stress on the electricity network,” he added.
The notion of green home finance is gaining traction around the world, with 37 thirty-seven European launching an energy efficiency mortgages pilot scheme in 2018.
The participating banks in the trial hope to find that the loans represent a lower risk on the balance sheet as borrowers are less likely to default on their repayments if they have lower energy bills.