Irish financial institutions recognise the game-changing role they can play in profitably supporting the national transition to a low carbon, resource-efficient and circular economy. As part of their broader sustainable lending strategy, several banks in the Irish market have already launched discounted green mortgage products.
The current position in Ireland, as is common internationally, is that eligibility for a discounted green mortgage is linked solely to energy efficiency. The Building Energy Rating (BER) certificate can be used as proof of eligibility that a home is “green”, allowing lenders to rely on the quality and transparency of the underlying BER quality assurance system.
However, going forward, the EU Taxonomy for Sustainable Activities is expected to become the benchmark for determining what is green for all financial purposes, including financial regulations. The Taxonomy definition of a green new home considers other environmental factors in addition to energy efficiency, and a BER certificate alone is unlikely to be sufficient to comply with this definition.
One of the challenges for mortgage lenders seeking to look beyond energy efficiency, is precisely what eligibility criteria to use. The solution for this challenge can be found in the Home Performance Index (HPI), the national green home standard and certification system that has been developed by the Irish Green Building Council (IGBC).
Our new Handbook “Green Mortgages for Certified Green Homes” provides detail on the business case for using the HPI certification to confirm eligibility for a discounted green mortgage. It also provides an overview of the HPI system itself, rom the criteria involved to the approval process, to how it compares to other green building standards and certification systems.
Download the handbook here