People who buy energy-efficient homes can now get cashback from one of the nation’s biggest mortgage providers.
Nationwide Building Society’s Green Reward initiative pledges cashback for anyone buying any property with a Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) rating of at least 86+. This is equivalent to an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of A or a high B.
In an attempt to incentivise buyers to choose energy-efficient homes, Nationwide will give £500 to anyone buying a home with an SAP of 92 or above, equivalent to an EPC rating of A. Those buying a home with an SAP between 86 and 91, which is the same as a high-B EPC rating, will be given £250.
How does Green Reward work?
The Green Reward is available to anyone using a Halifax mortgage to buy a qualifying home, whether they buy the mortgage directly or through a mortgage broker.
Once the purchase has been completed, Halifax will check the energy efficiency rating of the home and, if it qualifies, will pay the cashback in a matter of weeks.
Henry Jordan, Director of Mortgages at Nationwide, said:
“Our homes are where we have one of the biggest individual impacts on climate change, but more needs to be done to deliver a long-term plan to improve the energy efficiency of new and existing homes.
“We remain committed to helping make the homes we lend on greener and more sustainable, which is why we have launched our new cashback offer for property purchases.
“By launching Green Reward, we hope it will encourage people to consider the energy efficiency of the property they are buying.”
Is the incentive big enough?
When purchasing a house, you’re dealing with hundreds of thousands of pounds, so a cashback promise of £250-£500 seems small. Is it big enough to incentivise people to buy energy-efficient homes?
Well, first of all, who’s going to sniff at a free £500? That’s a new sofa, or a great tele. But, more importantly, it shouldn’t matter because the benefits of buying an energy-efficient home go way beyond a £500 gift.
By purchasing an energy-efficient home, your annual utility bills are going to be much smaller than they are with a home that has a bad efficiency rating. Homes with high ratings require less heat, for example, to keep the place warm because it’s not able to escape through windows or insulation, simultaneously reducing your costs and contributing to a more eco-friendly society.
Whether you get a mortgage from Halifax or not, always look to buy an energy-efficient home. If not because of the savings you’ll make immediately, then do it to prepare and protect yourself for the moment in the future when the government inevitably introduces new laws to ensure highly efficient homes.