Net-zero and energy efficient homes are finally accessible to all
Energy efficient and net zero homes have, for the longest time, been out of reach for many homeowners as banks declined to finance the higher price tags associated with green building practices. The trend to greener, more energy efficient building has finally nudged the Canadian financial institutions to cater to the needs of mortgage owners.
These ‘green mortgages’ serve the more environmentally minded who can also save a great deal on the running costs of an energy efficient home. The green mortgages cover both the construction of new net zero or energy efficient homes, as well as retrofitting existing structures.
Surveys show that it is not just the environmentally minded who are shifting to green building techniques. Ever-increasing electricity costs are motivating homeowners to build with efficiency in mind. Although initial investments are about 10% higher, green building techniques can significantly reduce utility bills over the life of the home.
The move to green mortgages coincides with a recent extension of the ecoENERGY retrofit program which provides tax breaks to Canadians who retrofit their homes with energy saving technologies. The green mortgages differ widely between banks and its best to investigate which arrangement best suits your intended building or renovation plan. Some of the more popular offers are listed below.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) scheme
Use CMHC insured financing when purchasing an energy-efficient home or for retrofitting a home to make it more energy efficient and get a 10% refund on your mortgage loan insurance premium.
Canada Trust Green (TD)
Retrofitting for efficiency, installing solar panels or purchasing Energy Star appliances will get you a 1% cash rebate on your mortgage.
Energy efficient homes get 1% off their posted interest rate on a five year fixed mortgage.
For every new Green Mortgage opened with TD, the bank will donate $100 to the Environment Foundation.
Eco Smart Mortgage from BMO
BMO offers buyers of energy efficient homes an annual interest rate of 3.89% on their mortgages.
Energy Saver Mortgage from RBC
RBC will refund the $300 for a home energy audit that is required to qualify for a mortgage.
Get a lower interest rate of 4.34% on a fixed, five year mortgage for energy efficient homes.
These are only a few of the options available to home owners. Consult your local financial institution to see if you qualify for a green mortgage. Retrofitting your home or buying an energy efficient home will save you tons of cash in the future.