Ecology Building Society has expanded its range of C-Change mortgage discounts for custom and self builds, rewarding those that build highly energy-efficient homes with lower rates.
NaCSBA member and leading sustainable lender, Ecology remains committed to supporting sustainable and energy efficient projects, and the new rates encourage and accelerate the construction of the most energy efficient owner-commissioned homes.
Introduced as the wider market witnesses higher mortgage rates and feels the impact of the cost of living crisis, the new discounts reward individuals factoring in sustainability from the planning stage, and sets a challenge for a way forward in the drive to net-zero.
Ecology’s self-build mortgage starts with an initial rate of 4.99% (from 1 August) during construction. On completion borrowers are eligible for a C-Change discount of up to 1.50% based on the SAP rating in the EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) or if the property is accredited to the exemplary AECB Building Standard or Passivhaus standard.
The changes also include the addition, for the first time, of dedicated discounts for homes built to a SAP rating from 100 to 109, and SAP ratings of more than 110, of 1% and 1.25% respectively, which Ecology is calling A+ and A++. This reflects the environmental performance of homes built to a standard that generates more energy than they consume.
This Sustainable Homes version of Ecology’s pioneering range of C-Change discounts is designed to incentivise and encourage borrowers to build their home to a higher energy efficiency rating leading to a long-term saving in both energy and borrowing costs.
For example, if the finished build is accredited to the Passivhaus standard a discount of 1.5% applies giving a variable rate of 3.49% for the remaining term of the mortgage (from 1 August). The product comes with an application fee of £799 and applicants can borrow up to 80% of the property’s value in stages to support the progress of the build.
Ecology offers flexible staged payments for self- and custom-build mortgages based on the needs of the borrower. They will consider a wide range of construction techniques including those using non-standard materials and modern methods of construction.
New range of C-Change Sustainable Homes discounts
|Energy standard||New discount||Change||Previous discount|
|EPC B (SAP rating 88+)||0.5%||-||0.5%|
|EPC A (SAP rating 92-99)||0.75%||-||0.75%|
|AECB Building Standard||1%||+0.25%||0.75%|
|EPC A (SAP rating 100 – 109) (‘A+’)||1%||+0.25%||0.75%|
|EPC A (SAP rating 110+) (‘A++’)||1.25%||+0.5%||0.75%|
The decision to enhance the discounts comes at a time when government is working to reduce the carbon impact of house building and has stated that new homes must reduce carbon emissions by 75% by 2025. Building Regulations require that a SAP calculation and a predicted ‘On construction’ Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is submitted for new dwellings prior to building work commencing.
Ecology’s mortgages are funded by its members who save with Ecology in the confidence their money is being used to have a positive environmental impact.
Daniel Capstick, Ecology’s Mortgage manager explains, “Now more than ever it’s important that lenders play an active role in incentivising green building and helping to reduce energy bills. We’ve been leading the way on sustainable mortgages for over 40 years, and we hope that the updates to the C-Change discounts will encourage our borrowers to build even more energy efficient homes, which is critical in the fight against climate change.”
Jon Bootland, CEO of the Passivhaus Trust said: “We’re delighted that Ecology Building Society has increased its C-Change mortgage discount for Passivhaus even further. Ecology has been leading the way in green mortgages for many years; they recognise Passivhaus as the leading standard for energy efficiency and occupant comfort by awarding it their maximum discount. Green financing can impactfully incentivise efficiency measures and higher quality buildings. We look forward to seeing more homeowners taking advantage of both Passivhaus benefits and Ecology’s mortgage discounts in the coming years.”
Mark Stevenson, Chair of the National Custom and Self Build Association said: “NaCSBA knows that custom and self-builders lead the way in innovation and sustainability, as individuals invest more in a home that they have designed to suit their needs than a speculative builder would.
“This was evidenced in our 2022 Market Report, where over half of all self-builders said they had used a sustainable heat source in their project. Ecology’s new discounts are a welcome incentive in the market, rewarding those who want to build a more sustainable future for themselves and their communities, and which set a challenge for the wider industry to raise its game and promote more sustainable construction practices.”