Green mortgages explained

A green mortgage could save you money if you have an energy-efficient home. Here’s all you need to know about green mortgages in Ireland and how to pick the best one.

What is a green mortgage?

It’s a type of mortgage which offers lower interest rates or a discount for:

  • house buyers who purchase an energy-efficient home
  • homeowners who live in energy-efficient homes

Energy-efficient homes use less energy to heat and run so are more environmentally friendly and will save money on energy bills in the long run.

The mortgage loan isn’t ‘green’ itself, and the mortgage lenders are not necessarily more ethical. The positive environmental impact comes from your home using less energy and a reduced carbon footprint.

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How does a green mortgage work?

Green mortgages in Ireland work the same way as a standard mortgage; you’ll borrow a large sum of money to buy a property and make monthly payments to repay the loan with interest.

The main difference with a green mortgage is that you get a discount off the lender’s standard rate so your mortgage is cheaper. The savings you make are mostly due to the discounted interest rate, but mortgage cashback may also be on offer for release at drawdown.

To qualify for the cheaper mortgage rate in Ireland the house you are buying, building or adapting will need to have a Building Energy Rating (BER) of B3 or higher.

What is a Building Energy Rating (BER)?

A Building Energy Rating (BER) shows your home’s energy performance and grades your home’s energy efficiency on a scale of A-G.

A-rated homes are the most energy-efficient and G-rated homes are the least.

The higher your BER, the less energy you use; for instance, an A-rated house conserves heat better so you’ll use less fuel to keep it warm.

A BER certificate is now required for most homes for sale or rent in Ireland and BER details must be included in advertisements when a home is on the market. Since 2007 all new build homes are required to have a BER certificate.

The bottom line is an A-rated home will benefit from lower energy bills and leave a smaller carbon footprint, whereas a G-rated home will attract high energy bills and is less environmentally friendly.

To find out more about your BER, visit our guide How to boost your Building Energy Rating (BER).

Are you eligible for a green mortgage?

The eligibility requirements for a green mortgage are the same as for a standard mortgage application, such as being an Irish resident over 18 years, but to qualify for a green mortgage there are three pathways.

You may be entitled to a green mortgage if you are:

  • Buying a home with a BER between B3 and A1
  • Adapting a home so it has a BER between B3 and A1
  • Building a house with a BER between B3 to A1

Green mortgages are available for:

See green mortgage deals

Which lenders offer green mortgages?

Five mortgage lenders in Ireland offer green mortgages for house buyers and homeowners with energy-efficient homes.

Lender Name of mortgage Repayment term Interest rate  
AIB Green 5 Year Fixed Rate 5 years from 2.15%  
Bank of Ireland Green Mortgage 1-10 years Discount 0.30%  
EBS Green 4 Year Fixed Rate 4 years from 2.1%  
Haven Green 4 year Fixed rate 4 years from 2.0%  
Permanent TSB Green 5 Year Fixed Home Loan 5 years Discount 0.20%  

Green Mortgages

AIB

The Green 5 Year Fixed Rate mortgage from AIB is available for those with energy rated homes of B3 or higher. If you are buying or building a good energy rated home, AIB is offering a lower rate of interest on their green mortgage than their standard rate mortgage.

Bank of Ireland

This green mortgage gives you a discount of 0.30% off any standard fixed-rate mortgage loan between 1 and 10 years. It’s available to you if you are buying a property that has a Building Energy Rating (BER) of B3 or better or are building or upgrading your home so that it has a BER rating of B3 or better.

EBS

The EBS Green 4 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage offers a lower rate of interest if your property is rated between A1 and B3. You’re eligible if you are a first-time buyer, mover, topping up an existing mortgage, switching or moving to a different fixed rate with EBS.

Haven

The Haven Green 4 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage is available if you are a first time buyer, moving to a new home, taking a Haven Top Up Loan, buying a second home or switching your mortgage. Benefit from this lower rate if you have an energy-efficient home with a rating between B3 and A1.

Permanent TSB

Home loan customers with a BER of B3 or better can benefit from a discount of 0.2% on a 5 fixed rate mortgage if they have an LTV of 80% or less and a mortgage of more than €250,000. It’s available to first-time buyers, home movers and switchers. It can also be combined with the Bank’s cashback offer for new mortgage customers.


What are the pros and cons of a green mortgage?

If you’re weighing up whether choosing a green mortgage is worth it, here’s the main benefits and drawbacks:

  • You’ll save money because of a lower interest rate or discounts on your mortgage
  • An energy-efficient home may sell more readily than a low rated home
  • It’s environmentally friendly and you’re helping to reduce your carbon footprint
  • You’re not only saving money on your mortgage your reducing your energy bills
  • There may be non-green mortgages on the market with lower interest rates
  • You may lose eligibility for other discounts or cashback offers from the lender
  • The number of green mortgages available is limited and may be restrictive
  • Renovations to make your home eligible for a green mortgage might be expensive

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Are green mortgages worth it?

If your home qualifies, it’s worth considering a green mortgage.

Check the fixed rate term is right for you and that you’re not missing out on other deals like cashback or bigger discounts before you decide.

Bear in mind that a green mortgage is not necessarily the cheapest mortgage deal on the market and you may find lower interest rates with a different provider.

If your home doesn’t meet the criteria, find out if there are any cheap and simple ways to boost your BER rating.

How to get the best green mortgage

The best green mortgage for you will depend on your circumstances, so it’s worth shopping around and comparing deals now there are a growing number of lenders offering this incentive.

Read our guide about building energy ratings (BER) to find out whether your home qualifies for a green mortgage in Ireland and how to boost your rating if it doesn’t.

If a green mortgage is right for you, compare home loan deals using our mortgage search and look out for the Green Mortgage symbol. To find the best green mortgage deal to match your needs, filter by:

  • property value
  • mortgage amount
  • repayment term
  • interest rate type
  • BER Rating

If you’re just starting out on your mortgage journey, our Complete Guide to Mortgages in Ireland is a great place to start.

Green Mortgages FAQs

How is my BER calculated?

A BER is based on the calculated energy performance and associated carbon dioxide emissions from room and water heating, ventilation and lighting under standardised conditions.

Factors that are used in the calculation are the house dimensions and orientation, types of windows, insulation and heating and hot water efficiency.

Although a BER takes into account how many people live at the property, it doesn’t include electricity used for purposes other than heating, lighting, pumps and fans.

Can I get a loan to make my home more energy efficient?

Yes, several Irish banks offer Green personal loans and homeowner loans designed for improving your home’s energy efficiency. You’ll just need to provide evidence of work and grants obtained to benefit from discounted loan rates.

Are there any grants available to increase my BER Rating?

Yes, the SEAI offers a range of Home Energy Grants for homeowners and those undertaking a self-build. Home Energy Grants are available for the following:

  • Insulation - up to €8,000
  • Heat Pump Systems - up to €6,500
  • Heating Controls -up to €700
  • Solar Water Heating - up to €1,200

Switch and save up to €453 on your energy bills

It only takes a few minutes to find a cheaper deal and start saving

Warning: If you do not keep up your repayments you may lose your home. Warning: The cost of your monthly repayments may increase. Warning: You may have to pay charges if you pay off a fixed rate loan early. Warning: If you do not meet the repayments on your loan, your account will go into arrears. This may affect your credit rating, which may limit your ability to access credit in the future. Warning: The entire amount that you have borrowed will still be outstanding at the end of the interest-only period. The payment rates on this housing loan may be adjusted by the lender from time to time. (applies to variable rate loans only) Information provided and Interest rates quoted valid at 29/09/2022