Available to new or existing home loan customers (including landlords), Westpac NZ is offering borrowers up to NZ$10,000 (approximately AUD$9,300) as part of their new ‘Warm Up’ Loan initiative.
Loans can be used to fund the installation of:
- Heat pump(s)
- Double glazing
- A solar power system
Installation must be completed by an installer who installs insulation, heat pumps, ventilation, double glazing and/or solar power systems as part of their usual business.
The bank said it hopes the interest-free loan will help customers make their homes “warmer and healthier” over winter - as well as reduce energy bills - while also creating work for tradespeople affected by the COVID-19 downturn.
Speaking of the new loan, Westpac NZ customer experience hub general manager, Karen Silk, commented: “We’ve all got used to spending more time at home recently and most people expect that to continue through winter. More than three out of five people told us they expect higher power bills and many of them were concerned.
“That’s why we’re urging customers to think about using this interest-free loan to make their home warmer, drier and more energy efficient.
“On top of improving comfort in your home, the installation will also provide important business to tradespeople navigating their way out of COVID-19. We think this is a great way people can support the small businesses and sole traders who deliver these services.”
According to a Westpac NZ survey conducted by Nexus Planning & Research in May 2020, 70 per cent of the 1,005 respondents said they expect to spend more time inside their house this winter than in other years, while two-thirds had already noticed an increase in their power bill since New Zealand went into lockdown in March.
Thirty-eight per cent of people also said they were worried that cold or damp conditions in their home could cause or worsen health problems for household members, while 89 per cent said it was ‘very important’ or ‘extremely important’ to live in a house that is warm and dry.
Mr Silk commented: “COVID-19 is the great challenge of our time, but we know climate change will also cause enormous economic, social and health problems in the future if left unchecked.
“Our customers know that too. More than half of those surveyed said it was important to have an energy efficient house that reduces the impact on the environment and climate change.”
Westpac has said the product is limited to New Zealand and is not expected to be released in Australia.
Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.
As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts.