CEFC backs CBA Green Home Offer to help save on energy and emissions
5 March 2023
The CEFC has made a $125 million commitment to support the Commonwealth Bank’s new Green Home Offer, to help cut emissions in the housing sector and improve energy efficiency in new and renovated homes.
The Green Home Offer encourages home builders and renovators to lift sustainability ambitions above current standards and is available to customers who build or renovate to meet the new Green Star’ Home Standard requirements established by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA). Customers are also eligible where their homes meet criteria developed by the Commonwealth Bank with the GBCA and the CEFC, aligned with Green Star standards.
The new GBCA standard supports a range of initiatives that can improve energy efficiency, such as achieving a minimum 7-star Nationwide House Energy Rating, the installation of solar panels and heat pump water systems and the absence of gas installation. Net zero energy requirements including electrification throughout the property will also be targeted.
CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said: “It’s great to be working with Australia’s largest retail bank to help make Australian homes more resilient to climate change and support homeowners facing rising energy bills.
“Discount green home loan initiatives are a powerful tool to drive down emissions, reduce energy use and create homes that are fit for the future. This latest investment brings our total commitment to green home finance to $350 million since 2020, when the CEFC took the lead in supporting initiatives to boost Australia’s energy efficient housing.
“This investment further amplifies the positive impact lenders can have in tackling the emissions challenge we face and show that lending to build sustainable homes in Australia has significant business potential. We look forward to seeing more lenders follow suit.”
Commonwealth Bank Executive General Manager Home Buying, Michael Baumann, said: “We want to reward new and existing customers who are taking actionable steps to reduce their environmental footprint by helping them to invest in homes that are efficient, comfortable and healthier for them and the environment.
“We are pleased to work alongside the CEFC to deliver our Green Home Offer which encourages customers to take steps now to protect the environment and their home while reducing its impact. We know homes that are well built and energy efficient are good for the environment whilst significantly reducing ongoing living costs – improving the wellbeing and financial position of homeowners into the future. This sort of upfront investment is proving compelling in particular with the current increase of energy costs, which impacts the cost of living.”
Buildings have a critical role to play in reducing carbon emissions according to a report released by the GBCA with the support of the CEFC earlier this year. A Practical Guide to Electrification for Existing Buildings found that transitioning buildings to meet net zero goals and that switching to all-electric buildings comes with multiple benefits that can work towards decarbonisation and can be implemented with technology that exists today.
Buildings account for about a quarter of Australia’s emissions1, with around half of those emissions coming from residential buildings – largely from inefficient energy systems including heating and ventilation, hot water and lighting.
CEFC Head of Debt Markets Richard Lovell said: “This investment marks the further development of the green home loan market in Australia and demonstrates growing consumer demand for energy efficient homes.
“Expanding the green home loan program in Australia’s banking sector while continuing to strengthen sustainability requirements gives customers an accessible solution to reduce their carbon footprint. It also demonstrates how ‘being green’ can encourage best practice in the building industry and can benefit both retail customers and the Australia finance industry more widely.”
The CEFC finance supports a discount on CommBank Green Home Offer rates over a five-year period, matched by an equal discount provided by the Commonwealth Bank. The discount applies to the entire home loan.
CEFC finance for the CommBank Green Home Offer follows the launch of the Bank Australia Clean Energy Home Loan in 2020 with $120 million in CEFC commitments to support the sustainable housing and a $108.5 million commitment to the Firstmac Green Home Loan in 2021.
The CEFC has invested in a diverse range of lower emissions programs across the residential housing sector, including in the areas of social and affordable housing, build-to-rent and masterplanned communities, seniors living and student accommodation.
Please note: The CEFC does not provide finance to individual borrowers and is not involved in individual financing decisions. Interested borrowers should contact the Commonwealth Bank directly.
Media release, 2023