Saturday, September 26, 2009

Take advantage of government assistance to Green your home. Part 2: Green Loans

In addition to the Energy Efficient Homes Package discussed in part 1, the Federal government has also introduced the Green Loans scheme.
The Green loans scheme is designed to help people pay for larger items such as solar, water saving, and energy efficient products.

From the website:

“Green Loans has two main components of support from the Australian Government:
1. a free Home Sustainability Assessment and report (valued at over $250); and
2. access to a Green Loans subsidy provided to participating financial institutions to cover up to four years interest for borrowing of up to $10,000, to implement changes recommended in the assessment report.”

There are two important points here.
Firstly in order to apply for a Green Loan you must have a home sustainability assessment, which is free. Then once you have received your assessment you can use its recommendations to apply to for loan.
The loan is not actually from the government, it is from the participating financial institution and the government subsidises the loan by paying the interest for four years. The household can choose which participating bank, credit union or building society they wish to apply for a loan with. Current participating institutions are listed here.

Another positive about this scheme is that a Green loan can be used in conjunction with other rebates. For example: to pay the remaining cost for home insulation after the $1600 subsidy is used up.

Conditions for Green loans include a means test of $250 000 household income per year. The loans are available to both owners and tenants (with permission of owner to make changes to the dwelling) and the home needs to be at least a year old. Also it is worth remembering the assessment is only valid for six months so if you get one, apply for that loan quickly because you only get one free assessment.

So where do I start?
Households can book an assessment by calling 1800 895 076 or by giving an assessor permission to book on their behalf, for more info see the website.

Update 30.10.09.
TTKD member Ian Gittus of Brisbane Energy Audits is an accredited assessor and can provide the free assessment needed to apply for a Green Loan. You can book your energy audit via their website.

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