6 March 2020

Green is the new black

By Vicki Harris
Chief Commercial Officer of Kensington Mortgages

Last year the UK Government committed to net zero emissions by 2050. A bold move, but one that’s needed if we are to address the issues around climate change. And with homes responsible for up to one quarter of all UK carbon emissions, focusing activity on residential dwellings is key*.

Great progress has been made to help with financing of energy efficient new build housing. Legal & General’s Modular Housing was the first of its kind to start a factory-like production of new builds, and Barclays’ green mortgage charges buyers lower interest rates when buying energy efficient new build homes.

So the question we have asked ourselves at Kensington is what can we do to help? How can we provide solutions for our customers so they can more easily reduce their carbon emissions?

Schemes like the ones mentioned above are importantly putting green on the agenda, but the emphasis on new build addresses only a small part of the problem. With over 17 million existing homes having an EPC rating below Band C, we need to encourage homeowners of older properties to make the changes needed for their homes to become more energy efficient**. Or another way to look at the issue is that in the UK alone, 9.7 million UK households haven’t made any changes in recent years to the way they use energy*.

At Kensington we are all about finding innovative solutions to help our customers get the home they want, the way they want. That’s why we have just launched our new eKo Cashback Mortgage. Whether you’re buying an older home, or simply re-mortgaging your existing property, we’ll give you £1,000 for improving the energy efficiency of your house.

So how does it work?  

It’s easy – within 12 months of completing your mortgage make an improvement of just 10 SAP points (Standard Assessment Procedure), have a new energy efficiency assessment carried out by a registered assessor and send us a copy of your new Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) so we can verify the improvements. Then, so long as you are up to date with all your mortgage payments and have no arrears, we’ll pay the money directly into the bank account we collect your monthly direct debit from. 

You don’t need a super-efficient new house - that’s the whole point. The eKo mortgage is about helping people make simple changes to pre-existing properties, not purchasing an energy-efficient new build.

Check out the table below which shows you the things you can do to help improve your SAP points. Install a hot water cylinder and low energy lighting and you’ve already hit the 10 points!

Energy Efficiency ImprovementPoints
1Swap to a condensing boiler47
2Install double glazing (UPVC)4
3Upgrading roof insulation13
4Low energy lighting2
5Insulating hot water cylinder8
6Loft insulation10
7Cavity wall insulation13
8Internal / external insulation of solid walls20
9Solar panels10

Climate change needs to be addressed, and to succeed we all need to do our bit. It’s not about being the next Greta Thunberg. It’s about each and every one of us taking small steps because if we all do this we can collectively make a real difference. 

If you would like to find out more about our eKo Cashback Mortgage then please click here. Or if you have any thoughts you’d like to share then please feel free to email me at vicki.blog@kensingtonmortgages.co.uk

Vicki Harris has 20 years of experience working in challenger financial services brands, working across asset management, banking and specialist lending. She is Chief Commercial Officer of Kensington Mortgages, the UK’s leading non-bank specialist mortgage lender.





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