Reduce carbon emissions and get a discounted mortgage rate!March 29th, 2011 by Simon Haddock
27% of the UK’s CO2 emissions come from residential properties and if the government is to meet its target of reducing emissions by 80% within the next 40 years it has been estimated that six houses every minute should be retrofitted.
Many homeowners would like to make their home more energy efficient but the cost of doing so puts them off. However, that may be about to change.
At the beginning of this week, the Ecology Building Society launched a mortgage product that gives discounts to homeowners who want to go green.
UK homes are currently graded on a scale of A to G in terms of energy efficiency, where A is the most energy efficient. Ecology’s C-Change Retrofit mortgage offers a 0.25% discount on its Standard Variable Rate for each grade improvement mortgage holders make to their property. With a current SVR of 4.90%, a borrower would see their rate fall to 4.40% if their energy rating improved from F to D after retrofit works were completed.
The government has already announced the Green Investment Bank and Green Deal, which will enable homeowners to obtain capital to carry out energy efficiency work but these aren’t launching until 2012.
Will these measures be enough? It’s all well and good offering discounts and loans to encourage people to go green but the retrofit industry is suffering a skills shortage. So where will the labour come from? Will any of the promised government apprenticeship funding find its way into the retrofit industry?