Australians who build or buy high-energy-efficient homes will be eligible to get a discount on their loan under a new housing scheme.
The clean energy home loan will use energy-efficient measurement tools to give customers with a 7-star rating a 0.4 per cent discount on their finances under the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS).
The federal government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is investing up to $60 million in a green home loan program for borrowers who meet its standards.
“The CEFC finance is designed to 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,” the government bank noted.
Bank Australia is the first lender to take up the scheme through its new Bank Australia Clean Energy Home Loan, which will offer eligible borrowers a 0.4 per cent discount for up to five years on mortgages below $1.5 million.
Housing and emissions
According to the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC), the property sector accounts for about 23 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.
About half of those emissions come from residential buildings – largely from heating, ventilation and air conditioning (40 per cent), appliances (25 per cent) and hot water systems (23 per cent).
ASBEC and ClimateWorks Australia have identified potential energy savings as high as 25 per cent through the adoption of higher clean energy standards in new residential buildings.
Economic benefits of green homes
Preliminary economic modelling undertaken by ASBEC and CSIRO has found that investing in voluntary measures to accelerate Australia’s transition to sustainable homes by 2030 would:
A house that has an energy rating of 7+ stars is: