The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has announced that its green loan has been made available for up to 600,000 customers across Australia.
It has followed the launch of a green loan pilot program in February this year to enable existing and new customers with an eligible CommBank home loan or investment loan to purchase and install renewable technology.
The loan enables eligible customers to purchase and install up to $20,000 worth of clean energy products by offering a 0.99 per cent per annum secured fixed rate over 10 years with no establishment fee, monthly loan service fee or early repayment fees.
According to CBA, it has funded, or is in the process of funding, nearly $4 million worth of clean energy products since announcing the pilot, while it estimates that customers have reduced emissions by 60 tonnes.
CBA said that it has a dedicated green loans team, through which customers can apply for the loan.
Commenting on the developments, CBA group executive Angus Sullivan said: “With over 11 million retail customers and more than 25 per cent of the home loan market with the CBA Group, we have a responsibility to provide solutions for customers that reduce their environmental impact, and the green loan is an important step towards helping our customers and communities move to cheaper, clean energy technologies.”
In addition, CBA has announced the launch of a sustainability hub to educate customers about clean energy, and provide the necessary information to use products such as the green loan.
“That is why we launched a new sustainability hub. We know that there is a lot of information out there, and for some customers, this is a barrier to taking that next step and investing in renewables,” he said.
Mr Sullivan said the sustainability hub will be regularly updated with resources to inform customers and “help them live a more sustainable life”.
Mr Sullivan added that CBA is looking at other means to enable customers to reduce their environmental footprint as part of its climate strategy, including “actively exploring” the option of solutions for electric vehicle financing as customers are looking for this.
He said: “The green loan is our first customer-facing product, and I’m excited because we have been doing a lot of work in this space and have some exciting announcements coming.
“In May, we announced a partnership with Amber, a new type of energy retailer, giving customers direct access to the real-time energy price for a monthly subscription fee, and all energy is carbon neutral.
“This partnership, alongside our green loan, will provide more value for our home loan customers by empowering them to access clean energy products and save more on their energy.”
Other lenders such as Gateway Bank recently announced new additions to its range of environmentally conscious products and services, including discounts on its Premium Package mortgage products if they have environmentally sustainable homes.
Firstmac launched its first discounted green home loan as part of a $750-million green mortgage-backed securitisation program in June, while Brisbane digital non-bank lender WLTH recently announced that it is set to open a $15-million capital raise and flagged that it planned to use the funding for green efforts and to support a clean ocean initiative.
[Related: Plenti launches green BNPL finance]
Malavika Santhebennur is the features editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.
Before joining the team in 2019, Malavika held roles with Money Management and Benchmark Media. She has been writing about financial services for the past six years.