When Matt Balmain first started investigating ‘clean’ home loans to fund the build of his new home, he struggled to find one. He came across Bank Australia’s Clean Energy Home Loan almost by chance.
In the initial planning stages of the build – a four bedroom, two bathroom family home on a 650sqm block in Traralgon – Matt applied for a standard home loan. But when he started looking at what energy efficient features he wanted to include, like double-glazing and insulation, he was able to convert that loan into Bank Australia’s Clean Energy Home Loan.
All new housing in Australia must have a minimum six-star energy rating. However research has shown that four out of five new property builds are just barely meeting their energy targets, with minimal thought given to sustainable (and cost-effective) outcomes.
But with a few upgrades here and there, it’s not hard to meet – and beat – those targets.
“At this point of the build, it’s pretty cheap and easy to add in double glazing, solar hot water systems and insulation in the walls,” Matt explains, adding that he was able to get his star rating up to 7.2.
“Because of the uncertainty of utility prices, it makes a lot of sense to build an energy efficient house at the moment,” Matt says. “When you’re at the early point of building, to have that flexibility to design it in such a way that it’s going to be as cheap to have going into the future.”
Cost played a huge part. “Building sustainably is just cheaper, which I don’t think a lot of people realise,” he says. “In five or 10 years, it’s just going to keep saving me money.”
Funds invested in the Impact Term Deposit pilot refinanced Matt’s home loan and more than 50 other Clean Energy Home Loans, which are helping our customers live more sustainably, and increasing the number of energy efficient homes around Australia.