Are green mortgages starting to take off?
While Canadians are interested in reducing their impact on the environment, the decision to buy a "green home" is really being driven by saving cash, according to a recent survey.
Despite saying all the right things, more than 59 per cent of respondents cite financial savings as the main reason for making eco-friendly upgrades and purchases.
The trend toward green living has encouraged Canadian banks to start offering "green mortgages," which offer home buyers a discounted interest rate and other incentives to buy more environmentally sensitive houses or perform upgrades aimed at lowering their environmental footprint.
The loans aren't open to just anyone, however. Buyers must qualify for the green loan by proving that the house they are buying meets certain green energy standards, or that they will be completing certain green upgrades to the home shortly after moving in, the Ottawa Citizen reports.
Provided your home meets the necessary criteria – primarily having ENERGY STAR rated products and several other high efficiency units – you can receive a lending rate several points lower than the typical posted mortgage. For example, the current rate on the green mortgage from BMO comes in at 3.89%, which could help save some cash over the five year period.
BMO isn't the only Canadian bank in on this, of course. TD also has a similar discounted rate, while RBC and CIBC offer rebates from certain home inspections and energy upgrades. And brokers are active in the space as well, adding eco sensitivity as one more criterion on their shopping list.
Have you gone the green financing route? Good deal or marketing hype? Or can you still do better by dealing through a mortgage broker?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money
* Follow Gordon on Twitter here.
Posted by: Jack | Jun 11, 2021 9:16:19 AM
Another example of greenwashing. I now avoid everything that is labelled "green". It is all marketing hype.
Posted by: John Gaul | Jun 12, 2021 4:11:16 PM
Sounds good on the surface but probably will not cause Canada to have a significant drop in greenhouse gases by itself. The private sector will never do anything for the environment unless forced to. The federal government has to step in and tax carbon. It then has to offer significant incentives to get consumers to do the right thing. It also has to produce an effective and coordinated plan to significantly bring greenhouse gases down by 2020 and then bring them down by 80% by 2050. That is the scientific consensus on what is needed if we are to avoid global heating past the point where we can adapt to the changed climate.
We are still waiting to elect a government that will do that. The one we elected last month will not even come close to implementing anything meaningful in the area of climate change. They are a government of the past not one that will lead us to a sustainable future. Canadian Banks cannot and will not fill that gap.
Posted by: Buck | Jun 12, 2021 9:35:57 PM
John, you're living in a dream world my friend. Money is king and always will be. With countries like China and India starting to ramp up on electrical needs, can you say hello coal, lots and lots of coal. If you wish to hand over your money to an unproven theory of the "Green Movement", go right ahead and leave mine alone. People are only going to change for the benefit of saving money, nothing else. Thank god for the government we have!
Posted by: Jack | Jun 16, 2021 3:47:47 PM
@John, I have to agree with Buck. By the way, I am a member of the scientific community and heavily involved energy and developing energy efficient processes for 33 years, long before most people even cared. I distance myself from all the "greenwashing" that is going on. It is making me sick. Many of my colleagues are now moving away from this "global warming" idea because of bogus research and modelling. I am not going to say what side I stand on, but I do believe in minimizing energy usage, as long as it makes economic sense, and truly achieves its goal over the life cycle. So John, tell me, what magic bullet or pixie dust do you have to reduce GHG by 80% by 2050. Are you going to use Harry Potter's magic wand to wave over China and India to do the same?