As part of its €1bn Sustainable Finance Fund, the Bank of Ireland is launching green financing options for homes and businesses to address climate change
The Bank of Ireland aims to encourage homeowners and businesses across the country to become more energy efficient by incentivising “green” financing options.
The lender has introduced green mortgage interest rate, green home improvement loan, and green business loan products through its €1bn ($1.1bn) Sustainable Finance Fund.
It hopes the products – all of which will be available before the end of the month – will promote improved adoption of environmentally-friendly investment in both domestic and commercial settings, with Ireland’s agricultural industry a particular source of interest.
Retail banking CEO Gavin Kelly said: “Everyone has a part to play in addressing one of the most important issues of our time – climate change.
“Addressing this challenge means changing behaviour and, as a leading financial services provider in Ireland, we can make a meaningful contribution to incentivising that change.
“The Sustainable Finance Fund and the first of its new products announced today are designed to practically support our customers’ transition to a more energy efficient and sustainable future.
“At Bank of Ireland, we want to play our part in Ireland’s response to this issue.”
The Bank of Ireland’s Sustainable Finance Fund will support climate change targets
The Sustainable Finance Fund will make the green loans available over the course of the coming year, including home improvement and business premises loans for borrowers seeking to buy, build or retrofit properties with energy efficiency in mind.
The initiative supports the Irish government’s Climate Action Plan – which aims to upgrade 500,000 older homes to improved energy efficiency ratings – alongside the country’s commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
The Bank of Ireland has made environmental commitments within its own organisation, with targets to reduce its carbon emissions intensity by 50% before 2030.
Research cited by the lender from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) showed more than one million homes in the country require investment to make them energy efficient.
It also revealed that Irish SMEs spend more than €2bn ($2.2bn) annually on energy, which could be reduced by 10% through greater efficiency.
The Bank of Ireland will support green financing for homes and businesses
The green mortgage interest rate gives customers a discount of 0.2% on fixed rate loans, either for purchasing, constructing or renovating residential buildings to an A-rated Building Energy Rating (BER) standard.
Home improvement loans are offered at 6.5% variable APR for amounts between €2,000 ($2,200) and €65,000 ($72,000), intended for financing energy efficient upgrades such as solar panels and insulation.
The green business loan offers discounted finance to firms looking to implement energy-saving initiatives to reduce their energy costs and carbon footprint.