CBA’s new 0.99% green home loan: Who’s eligible + how to get it
CommBank has launched its 0.99% green loan following a pilot in February this year. Here's how to get this ultra-low home loan rate.
Almost 6 months on from launching its green home loan in pilot phase, CommBank has announced that all of its 600,000 customers across the country are now eligible to apply.
Since announcing the pilot in February, the Big Four bank has funded or committed to almost $4 million worth of clean energy products, said group executive Angus Sullivan.
"We have a responsibility to provide solutions for customers that reduce their environmental impact and the Green Loan is an important step towards helping our customers and communities move to cheaper, clean energy technologies," he said.
How do you get the CommBank Green Loan?
To be eligible to apply for this loan, you must:
- Be an existing CommBank customer; you can become a customer by opening a free bank account.
- Have an eligible CommBank home loan or investment home loan.
- Be planning to invest in renewable technology or sustainability products, such as solar roof panels or a solar battery.
- Spend up to $20,000 on clean energy products (this will be used as security for the existing home loan).
The interest rate you'll pay on the green loan is just 0.99% p.a., fixed over 10 years, with no establishment fee, no monthly loan service fee and no early repayment fees.
The types of technology that might be eligible include:
- Solar panels
- Double glazing
- Water storage tanks
- An alternative power supply
If you borrow the full $20k, you'll pay just $198 in mortgage interest in the first year.
To apply for a Green Loan, contact the bank's Green Loans team on 1800 965 047 or visit your nearest branch.
Do other lenders offer green home loans?
A number of other banks and lenders are seeing the value in rewarding customers for investing in renewable technology. Lenders who offer green home loans include:
- Bank Australia – offers a Clean Energy Home Loan in partnership with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
- Bendigo Bank – will give you an interest rate discount if you can demonstrate that your building or renovation project is environmentally sustainable.
- Hunter United – gives you access to a green loan if your property has at least 3 sustainable features, such as solar power, insulation or a water tank.
- loans.com.au – provides a discount on interest rates for borrowers who have a property with a 7.0 NatHERS rating.
- Maleny Credit Union – is a small Queensland credit union that offers a 0.15% interest rate discount if your home satisfies 3 of its sustainable criteria.
- Regional Australia Bank – offers a Sustainable Home Loan with incentives for borrowers pursuing sustainable housing.
What if you don't qualify or can't refinance right now?
If you're keen to reduce and offset your emissions and save money on your energy bill, but you're not ready or eligible to take on a green loan, Finder's utilities senior writer Mariam Gabaji shares some other ways you can save.
She says you can pocket up to $415 in annual savings by following these 4 simple steps:
- The ACCC's September 2020 energy report found that residential customers on "market" offers pay around 17% less than those on standing offers. If you haven't switched plans or providers in 12 months, contact your energy provider to get on a cheaper plan or compare energy plans today. Potential saving = up to $219 for people using 4,000kWh of electricity.
- The average household can save almost $100 a year just by switching off standby appliances. According to The Department of Environment and Energy, these can account for roughly 3% of your energy bill, depending on how many appliances you have in your home that are constantly on standby.
- Pick the right temperature for your air conditioner and save up to $50 annually. For example, raising your air con temperature from 20 to 22 degrees can cut 20% of your energy use.
- Reduce the use of your heater by 1 hour less each day and save 25% on your energy use and up to $46 in bills during winter.
- Monitor your electricity and gas usage with an app to avoid bill shock. For example, a new market gadget from Powerpal connects your electricity meter to your smartphone and wirelessly tracks your home energy usage. Currently, Victorians are eligible to claim it for free.
- Switch to a solar hot water system. It could save you money in the long run (as long as a section of your roof has good access to sunlight). They cost more upfront, anywhere from $2,500 to $6,000, but you'll recover this in a few years' time when your bills get slashed by 50–80%.