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It’s time for Retro Fit as Conister pumps up its Green Finance Initiative

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It’s time for Retro Fit as Conister pumps up its Green Finance Initiative



 

Conister Bank, the Island’s primary green lender for local consumers and businesses, has welcomed the Isle of Man Government’s plans to provide grant aid for sustainable, eco-friendly home improvement – but warned that this won’t be enough on its own to satisfy the demand for green funding.   

Conister has previously pledged to reduce its carbon footprint and increase sustainability with a range of green lending initiatives, in support of the government’s target of net zero emissions by 2050.

The Bank’s Head of Sales, Andy Bass, said the Department of Enterprise’s Green Living Grant Scheme was a positive move in helping residents to reduce carbon emissions and cut household energy bills, by making their properties more efficient.  

But he advised that whilst the Scheme would be beneficial for certain types of home improvement, it would not be sufficient to provide adequate funding for many homeowners now looking to embrace a low-carbon future.  

“As the Island transitions towards a greener way of life, we wholeheartedly support the Government grant scheme of up to £6,000 per property,” said Andy. “But with many homes on the Island, especially the older housing stock, requiring significant retro-fit support, there is only so much that the Department’s initiative can do to assist.

“We know from current lending patterns that many homeowners will require significantly more than the £6,000 threshold, to create the type of eco-friendly home improvements required for a more sustainable lifestyle.”  

He said that this was the reason why Conister had already put in place its own Green Finance Initiative, “to provide the necessary funding support that many homeowners are seeking at the current time.”

The Bank’s Green Finance Initiative supports energy efficiency, renewable energy, electric vehicles, sustainable food production, agriculture, forestry, and waste management.    

It provides borrowers with low rate, flexible term loans up to a maximum of ten years. “We believe the combination of low-cost borrowing spread over a longer period is aligned with the expectations of aspirational homeowners, looking to achieve futureproofed, energy-efficient, cost-effective living,” Andy continued.   

According to the UK Government, homes currently use 35% of all the UK’s energy and are responsible for 20% of the carbon dioxide emissions.

Here, to meet emission targets he continued, there was now a pressing need to install more sustainable loft, wall and floor insulation, double glazing, air-source heat pumps to replace gas boilers, low energy lighting, as well as solar.

With more people choosing to work from home, retrofit could also be carried out in conjunction with a range of other space-enhancing improvements, such as home extensions and garden rooms, he suggested.  

“Our aim is to do all we can to help make a difference to environmental impact and in support of the Island’s Government. In our view, retro-fit represents a practical and advantageous route towards net-zero,” said Andy.

The article can be found digitally at Business 365  

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