Rabobank accelerates making homes more sustainable
Today Rabobank launches the Rabo Groendepot (Rabo Green Construction Deposit Account) as extra possibility for clients to combine with its mortgages to finance measures to make homes more sustainable. This is a deposit that clients can get at their disposal to make their homes more sustainable. They can decide what measures that want to take during a 2 year period. The introduction of the Rabo Groendepot is part of an integrated approach to make the housing stock more energy-efficient. As of today, customers throughout the country can also use the renewed free online HuisScan (HomeScan). For example, Rabobank wants to make at least 40,000 homes more sustainable per year to label A.
More and more homeowners want to make their homes more sustainable, but when they take out a mortgage they often do not know what measures they have to take, what they will cost and which party can realize it. The moving house period is already hectic enough, especially in the current housing market. Michiel Kwaaitaal, Mortgage director at Rabobank: 'Today's house buyer lives for an average of 15 years in his house and has now secured his mortgage interest on average for about 15 years. That means that the chance is small that he will take out a new mortgage before 2030. Once he is in the new house, it often does not matter anymore to make the house more sustainable. That is why we now need an integrated approach to actually realize the sustainability ambition for 2030’.
The integral approach consists of:
- 'Energy-saving measures' as a fixed subject during the mortgage interviews. This is mainly to increase the necessity and financial benefits for customers.
- Rabobank has an exclusive partnership with independent specialist GreenHome. Starting today, customers throughout the country can use the new HuisScan free of charge, which indicates the possibilities for making the house more sustainable, what the investment costs and savings are and which companies in the neighborhood can realize this.
- From now on, these investment costs can be paid from the flexible Rabo Groendepot. Customers get two years to determine which investments they want to make their homes more energy-efficient. Customers can use the green construction deposit account which is linked to their mortgage. They do not pay interest on the reserved amount in the account. After 24 months, the outstanding balance will be repaid on the mortgage without penalty.
- Customers who do not want to or can’t increase their mortgage and VVE’s (owner’s associations) can take out an Energiebespaarlening (Energy Savings Loan) at a favourable interest rate, by making use of the national foundation Stimuleringsfonds Volkshuisvesting (SVN), and the loan made possible by Rabobank.
Consumers are hesitant
Getting a home from energy label C to A costs about 10,000 euros, on average. 'Many clients expect (subsidy) measures from the municipality or the central government, but it is questionable whether these measures will be implemented. Kwaaitaal says: ‘This means that customers are awaiting, while our own research shows that 97% of the homeowners can finance the sustainable improvements to their homes from their own resources or the surplus value of their homes. This can be done by using equity capital, by using surplus value of the house or by taking out a cheap Energiebespaarlening (Energy savings loan). As of today, this is also possible with the flexible Rabo Groendepot. Except the necessity to reach the climate goals, the investment brings comfort to the home and increase the value of the house. In addition, for many people, even with a loan, the investment results in lower housing costs due to lower energy bills’.
‘Home banker of the energy transistion’
Bas Rüter, Director of Sustainability at Rabobank, explains that Rabobank sharpens its sustainability ambitions with this integrated approach. 'Rabobank is committed to working together with its customers in the Netherlands to have reduced their CO2 emissions in 2030 by at least 49%. Rabobank has been working together with governments, NGOs and other companies for years to help clients, both private and (large) business, to fulfil the climate goals. For the housing market, this means that the energy label for mortgages must go to label A on average. Government support for making homes more sustainable will become possible by building-related financing. This is a loan for energy saving measures that can be transferred to the next owner. That makes investing interesting now, even if you do not know how long you will stay in your home. Based on our local involvement, we want to play a crucial role in releasing residential areas of natural gas together with customers, governments and corporations. In the business market we are there for our customers with specialized advice and attractive financing to fully adapt their buildings within ten years. And of course we continue to finance the generation of renewable energy. We have the ambition to be 'the home banker of the energy transition' and thereby help to make the Paris Agreement a success’.