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Green home loans

Green home loans offer discounted interest rates and other benefits for borrowers with environmentally-friendly homes.

Green home loans are designed to encourage borrowers to buy, build or improve their homes in an environmentally friendly way. They typically offer discounted interest rates for houses that are energy efficient. Some green home loans only offer minimal discounts, while others can be some of the market's cheapest rates.

What is a green home loan?

Green home loans are structured in the same way as other Australian home loans. They can be used to fund the purchase of a home or investment. But green loans have extra criteria and are only available to borrowers whose properties are considered "green." In practice, this means the home must meet some form of sustainability criteria or a specified energy efficiency criteria.

Examples of features that make your home greener include:

  • Solar panels
  • Double glazing
  • Water storage tanks
  • An alternative power supply
  • Insulation

Be sure to check with each lender what the criteria is to be eligible for their green home loan.

Green home loans tend to offer discounted interest rates for eligible borrowers, as a means of encouraging greener housing. Note that some lenders may not offer specific green home loans but may have other "green loans" that can fund home renovations to make your home greener. These are essentially a form of personal loan.

Which lenders offer green home loans?

Most of the large Australian lenders don't have specific mortgages for green properties, but there are several smaller lenders who do.

Below are some green home loans available at the time of writing.

  • Bank Australia. This customer owned bank now offers a Clean Energy Home Loan in partnership with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. You can secure a rate discount if you are buying or building a 7+ star-rated home, or renovating to add solar panels or insulation.
  • Commonwealth Bank. While not a home loan product, the Commonwealth Bank offers a 0.99% interest rate to cover the cost of installing green home features or renovations, such as installing solar panels or double glazing.
  • NAB offers lower variable rates for home loan customers with energy efficient homes. They must be owner occupiers with a deposit of 20% or less to benefit from a discount of up to 1.00% p.a. on their home loan.
  • loans.com.au. The Green Home Loan from loans.com.au offers discounted rates for borrowers who have a property with a 7.0 NatHERS rating.
  • Regional Australia Bank Sustainable Home Loan. This is a variable rate mortgage that offers incentives for borrowers pursuing sustainable housing who meet the lender's criteria.

Read more on home loans from ethical lenders

What else do I need to know about green home loans?

Pros

  • Reduce your environmental footprint. The most obvious benefit of these loans is that you will be able to contribute to a more sustainable future, reducing your environmental impact.
  • Interest rate discounts. The main draw card of a green home loan is that you are rewarded with lower interest rates in return for your choice to make your house environmentally friendly. But be aware that these interest rates may not
  • Lower bills. By switching to more energy efficient power options, you could potentially save more on your electricity and water bills.

Cons

  • Strict criteria. Most green loans have a very strict and specific criteria your house will have to meet in order to be eligible. The criteria will differ from lender to lender, and the less environmentally friendly tools your house has, the small array of lenders you will have to choose from.
  • Fees and charges. As with any loan, be aware of fees such as redraw facility charges.

A green discount does not mean you're getting the cheapest rate

  • Keep in mind that the discounted rates for green home loans don't necessarily make these products cheaper than other mortgages. If your priority is saving money on repayments with a cheaper mortgage then a green home loan might not be your best option.

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    DaleJune 22, 2017

    Hi. I am seeking information about the rates for Green Loans for solar panels please.

      AvatarFinder
      JhezelynJune 22, 2017Finder

      Hi Dale,

      Thanks for your comment.

      The available green home loans in our page are Hunter United Green Home Loan with a minimum loan amount of $200,000 and gives borrowers a rate discount, Bendigo Bank Green Home Loan with a minimum loan amount of just $5,000 and has a variable interest rate and Southern Cross Credit Union Green Home Loan which can offer you a 0.7% discount off the standard variable rate if your home can achieve a 7 star or above rating according to the Naitionwide House Energy Rating Scheme SCU.

      Hope this information has helped you.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

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