New budget encourages “green” mortgages
In announcing the new budget, Chancellor Gordon Brown not only said that the government will be offering grants for pensioners to help make their homes more energy-efficient but he also encouraged banks and building societies to create mortgages especially for the purposes of allowing homeowners to make energy efficiency improvements that both cuts the consumption of energy and lowers the homeowners’ power bills.
Several banks, building societies, and loan companies have already said that they will begin offering such green mortgages, and some that already offer such products have plans to expand the range of offerings. Peter Jackson, head of products at HBOS (LSE: HBOS) said that his bank will begin to offer green mortgages next year, while the Yorkshire Building Society plans to announce details about its new green mortgages in April. Both the Norwich and Peterborough Building Society and Co-operative Bank, which markets itself as an ethical bank, already offer such mortgages.
For the government’s part, it will offer grants of between £300 and £4,000 to pensioners, to enable them to install central heating and insulation in their homes. It will also increase the amount available for microgeneration grants by 50 percent, and will exempt all new zero carbon homes valued at up to £500,000 from the stamp duty until 2012.