The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) Europe network and partners launched a new report ‘Creating an Energy Efficient Mortgage for Europe: the supporting role of the green building sector.’ The vision is to support the growth of the market so that energy efficient mortgages will be made available to every borrower in Europe.
The report argues that to achieve this, the finance and the green building sector must work together more closely. It sets out a roadmap for building, construction and energy efficiency organisations to follow that will help the market for green finance to flourish – with the potential to transform millions of buildings across Europe.
Written jointly by WorldGBC’s Europe network and E.ON as part of the highly successful, EU funded Energy Efficient Mortgages Initiative, the report emphasises the importance of considering the needs of the borrower to ensure energy efficient mortgages have broad appeal.
A pilot scheme launched last year by the initiative, which also involves the European Mortgage Federation – European Covered Bond Council and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, has already seen 46 major banks signed up to develop new green lending products. City and regional governments including the Scottish government have also committed to support the initiative.
The success of these new products can be secured through the support of businesses and organisations with expertise in building energy performance. They can take action to stimulate demand, streamline delivery of energy efficient buildings and renovations and provide extra support to the borrower.
These goals can be achieved through both greater collaboration across sectors and education and training to increase awareness and skills. Additionally, innovation is required to streamline the assessment, planning and delivery of high-performance buildings and renovations which satisfy lenders criteria for energy efficient mortgages.
Cristina Gamboa, CEO World Green Building Council commented:
“Green finance is increasingly recognised as a powerful driver for climate action. The growth of the energy efficient mortgage market in Europe represents a unique opportunity to unlock new investment to accelerate the decarbonisation of the built environment. We are working with our members to ensure that our sector is equipped to seize this opportunity.”
Marco Marijewycz, Senior Manager – Global Business Development, B2C Solutions, E.ON said:
“The successful growth of a European market for energy efficient mortgages can only happen if we put the customer front and centre. E.ON’s consumer insight work shows there’s appreciation across the board of the benefits energy efficient mortgages can offer for property owners; like lower energy bills, increased comfort levels and lower environmental impact. But for the market to reach mass scale, will require close cooperation between market actors such as banks and energy companies. E.ON is already pioneering such an approach and we believe the recommendations set out in this report provide clear guidance to facilitate wider cross sector collaborations.”
Luca Bertalot, Secretary General, European Mortgage Federation – European Covered Bond Council said:
“The journey towards developing a European energy efficient mortgage market, by linking energy efficiency to financial processes and decision-making, and delivering a financial system that supports sustainable growth, requires actions across the entire financial system in close cooperation with the built environment sector. The guidance set out in this latest report can help that sector to play its part in the growth of the market and increase demand from borrowers. This collaborative approach will help shift the climate performance of Europe’s buildings.”
Ursula Hartenberger, Global Head of Sustainability, RICS commented:
“Properties which are below average in their energy efficiency may suffer value erosion as the market and government policy starts to push the need for more efficient buildings. With energy efficient mortgages there is an opportunity for valuers, lenders and businesses that specialize in energy efficiency services to collaborate to help borrowers mitigate this risk. This report is a timely and valuable resource to guide these new collaborations.”
Barry Lynham, Managing Director Knauf Energy Solutions commented:
“Europe needs a step change in the annual energy efficiency renovation rate for buildings to stand any chance of meeting its climate targets; energy efficient mortgages are a key tool for making this step change a reality.”
Developing the market will only happen if customers understand and believe in the benefits of energy efficient mortgages. The report analyses market research led by E.ON to help drive the appeal of these mortgage options to the borrower. Financial incentives and the potential to increase property value were cited as the highest rated benefits for borrowers.
About the World Green Building Council
The World Green Building Council is a global network of Green Building Councils in almost 70 countries. Collectively, our goal is to achieve the following by 2050: limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius; reduce the building and construction sector’s CO2 emissions by 84 gigatonnes, and ensure all buildings are net zero emissions. These goals will help deliver on the ambition of the Paris Agreement. We are building a better future, and are committed to green buildings for everyone, everywhere. www.worldgbc.org