Jessica Ellerm is a thought leader specializing in Small Business and the Gig Economy and is the CEO and Co-Founder of Zuper, a neowealth disruptor in Australia
The world must go green. How green is probably a debatable question, but slowly the tide is turning towards renewables and fossil fuel alternatives, with many hard-nosed climate conservatives even beginning to thaw on the issue.
Finance has a huge role to play in this greenification of the world. In Australia, companies like Ratesetter are leading the way in helping consumers access finance specifically to help fund the purchase and/or installation of an Approved National Clean Energy Product. This includes air source heat pumps, batteries for solar systems, energy efficient air conditioning, low energy lighting, hybrid cars and trucks, solar panels and much more.
A large portion of these fundable items are home fittings. But what if there was a green financing option for a home itself?
Well, this is now a reality in Australia.
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has launched a green home loan program for borrowers who can achieve a seven-star energy rating, offering discounted rates.
As a funding provider, CEFC will sit in the background, with retail banks fronting the program for prospective home owners. Bank Australia is the first to come on board, offering a 0.40% discount tonborrowers, should they meet the green criteria.
Given the CEFC states the property market accounts for about 23% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, with about half coming from residential buildings, clearly greenification is a pressing need across the sector.
Consumers that are savvy to the short and long-term financial benefits of adapting to climate change are increasingly being provided with financing offers that can help propel them there faster. And adapting makes sense, when research shows energy efficient homes can lead to potential energy cost savings of up to 25%.
These products are the tip of the new fintech meets green-tech story, that is slowly emerging in western economies. Here’s hoping there will be more.