Ecology Building Society was yesterday announced as winner of the Ecological/Green Category in the annual Mortgage Finance Gazette Awards. The award recognises Ecology’s innovative CChange Retrofit discount, which rewards energy efficiency and carbon saving measures that improve a home’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating.
News of Ecology’s win comes on the day the Government releases its Green Deal consultation, and just days after the release of its Housing Strategy for England, both of which acknowledge the critical need to improve the energy efficiency of our existing housing stock. With the majority of our 26 million houses wasting huge amounts of energy and money, encouraging homeowners to retrofit their properties is central to the UK’s aim of cutting carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. Joanne Atkin, Editor of Mortgage Finance Gazette, said: “The judges like the obvious green credentials of Ecology Building Society and the fact that the Society is doing something to incentivise sustainable living. By making improvements to either the energy efficiency or environmental impact rating of a property, borrowers get a lower mortgage rate through the Ecology’s C-Change Retrofit discount mortgage scheme. That can only be good for the borrower and good for the environment.”
Ecology’s CEO, Paul Ellis explained: “This is the first time we’ve extended our mortgage range to more traditional homes requiring extensive energy efficiency measures, so we’re really excited by the recognition we’ve received. The C-Change Retrofit scheme is a simple way to help homeowners save money on their mortgage as well as their fuel bills, while making a vital contribution to reducing the UK’s carbon emissions.”
The award was presented to Ecology just four months after the mutual was named Best Environmental Lender 2011 in the What Mortgage Awards, and less than a year before the Government’s Green Deal scheme is due to be launched.
1. The Ecology Building Society was the first lender to offer green mortgages and has been doing so since 1981.
2. The Mortgage Finance Gazette Awards are judged by an independent panel, including journalists from the national press, industry experts, and the editors of What Mortgage and Mortgage Finance Gazette.
3. The UK Government’s Housing Strategy for England was released on 21 November 2011 and can be found here.
4. In the UK, homes currently consume three times as much energy as our use of private cars, and account for over 27% of CO2 emissions. The average Energy Efficiency Rating for the UK's housing stock on a scale of A to G is around E/F.
5. Ecology's C-Change Retrofit discount offers a discount of 0.25% off Ecology's Standard Variable Rate (currently 4.90% - the overall cost for comparison is 4.8% APR) for each grade improvement made in either the energy efficiency or environmental impact rating (whichever is the greater) after works to the property are completed. For example, if either rating improves from E to C after the works to the property are completed, a discount of 0.5% will be available on the whole of the mortgage, for the full duration of the loan. With the Ecology's current SVR of 4.90% borrowers could be paying as little as 4.40%.
6. For further details of Ecology’s C-Change sustainable homes and energy improvements mortgage discounts visit this page.
7. For further details on the types of projects and properties Ecology Building Society lends on, visit this page. The Ecology’s range of green savings and investments supports its unique lending programme.