Bank of Ireland launches first green equity release option for homeowners at 3.0% variable APR

Bank of Ireland branches nationwide are now open for business for Ireland’s first Green Equity Release loan.   This new mortgage feature allows customers to unlock some of the equity built up in their home to invest in energy efficient home improvements.    Homeowners with SEAI (Sustainable Energy Association of Ireland) grant approval for their home improvements can now avail of the bank’s highly competitive variable LTV mortgage rate of 3.0%.

Customers can avail of the cheaper rate on the entire cost of their green home improvements and not just the portion of the SEAI grant.   They can borrow from €5,000 up to 90% of the value of their property to fund the energy efficiency improvements in their home and can also opt for repayment terms of between five and thirty years, keeping their monthly amounts at a lower, more manageable level.

Jonathan Byrne, Head of Mortgages ROI, Bank of Ireland, said “This latest announcement reflects a nationwide growth in desire to be energy efficient at home but also the imperative to protect our environment by reducing carbon emissions and our dependence on fossil fuels.  This new Green Equity Release finance option makes it much more affordable for customers to make energy efficient improvements to their home by allowing customers borrow at highly competitive mortgages rates and spread the cost over a longer term.”

Mr Byrne went on to explain the savings which can be made from energy efficient home improvements.  Taking the example of a typical 4 bedroom house built around 1970, with high energy bills, improvements costing approximately €18,000 could reduce the total energy costs by 40%. This equates to an average saving of €111* each month which is a significant saving for any household.

Josephine Maguire of SEAI explained the value for organisations like Bank of Ireland in becoming involved with the retrofit market. “The retrofit market is certainly a growing one. SEAI approve on average 1,200 applications for grants every week or over 50,000 a year, to support energy efficient projects and this is growing all the time.  What we are finding is that the vast majority of applicants are funding the improvements through their existing savings with people reluctant to avail of loan funding which might allow them undertake deeper retrofits.  We therefore see it as vital that the market provide innovative funding solutions to further broaden the appeal of these support programmes.  So we welcome this new product offering from Bank of Ireland.”

The Green Equity Release can be used to cover work such as roof and cavity wall insulation, internal wall dry lining and external wall insulation, installation of high efficiency boilers and heating controls upgrades.  Customers can also use their grants and loans to install renewable energy heating systems such as solar heating systems, heat pumps or wood chip or pellet boilers.

This announcement is the latest in a series of green initiatives from Bank of Ireland which includes the Halo Loan, a joint venture with ESB launched in November 2010.   Bank of Ireland also offers a Green Personal Loan product that offers a 1% discount on standard loan rates for energy efficient projects.

Bank of Ireland was named overall winner in the Waste Management and runner up in the Energy Awareness categories at the fourth annual EnviroCom Awards. The awards, run by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Chamber, were launched to showcase innovation, dedication and success in environmental management.


Notes to Editors:

Lending criteria, terms and conditions apply to all equity release applications.

*The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) was set up by the government in 2002 as Ireland’s national energy authority. The remit of the SEAI is to play a leading role in transforming Ireland into a society based on sustainable energy.

Example calculation based on a 150 m2 property, improvement works including roof insulation, external wall insulation and a new high efficiency oil fired boiler with heating controls upgrade would cost about €17,650 – estimated in conjunction with SEAI

*Figures are estimated based on typical occupancy and heating the entire dwelling to a comfortable level.  Delivered energy is the energy delivered to the dwelling.  Primary energy includes transport and processing of fuel along with generation overhead for electricity.

**Average prices per kWh energy delivered to the dwelling are 0.152 for electricity and €0.0846 for kerosene oil (SEAI domestic fuels comparison July 2010)