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Low-cost just got lower with two more banks offering loans under the Home Energy Upgrade Loan Scheme

25 Jun 2024

The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, and the Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath, today welcome the participation by AIB and Bank of Ireland in the government-backed, €500 million, Home Energy Upgrade Loan Scheme.

The scheme was launched in April 2024 and is delivered by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) on behalf of the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, and supported by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group.

AIB and Bank of Ireland are the latest financial institutions to offer loans under the scheme, with rates starting from as low as 3% (pricing varies depending on the finance provider). The participation of these two pillar banks, along with PTSB, who currently offer loans under the scheme, significantly increases competition in the market, providing homeowners with more choice and giving them the opportunity to avail of rates that are significantly lower than what is currently available on the market.

In addition to the three pillar banks, it is expected that a number of credit unions from the Irish League of Credit Unions will join the scheme in the coming weeks, which will allow more people to access these affordable loans in their own communities. Additional finance providers are expected to commence offering loans later this year.

The scheme works hand in hand with SEAI grant programmes, and loans can be used for a broad range of home energy upgrades. Homeowners can apply for the loans directly through the participating finance providers.

Minister Ryan said:

"I am delighted that AIB and Bank of Ireland are now participating in the scheme. This means that all three pillar banks are now offering low-cost loans to homeowners who want to upgrade the energy efficiency of their homes. The increased competition in the market means that homeowners will now have more choice and greater value. Low-cost just got lower, which is good news for householders.

"I very much welcome the extremely competitive rates starting from 3%, which are the best green loan rates available on the market. I hope that more homeowners are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to upgrade their home to one that is warmer and healthier, with lower energy bills and emissions, supporting Ireland in our transition to a greener future."

Minister Michael McGrath said:

"I am pleased to welcome AIB and Bank of Ireland as lenders under the €500 million Home Energy Upgrade Loan Scheme. This scheme, operated by the SBCI and backed by the European Investment Bank and European Investment Fund (EIB/EIF), unlocks significant funding at very attractive rates – on top of SEAI grants – to enable homeowners and small landlords to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

"With AIB and Bank of Ireland joining PTSB under this scheme, and more lenders, including credit unions to join soon, its benefits will spread even wider, helping households to reduce energy bills and also lower our CO2 emissions, contributing significantly to meeting Ireland’s climate targets.

"I encourage anyone with an interest in availing of the scheme to contact participating finance providers. I believe this initiative will have a very significant, positive effect in the years ahead."

June Butler, CEO of SBCI, said:

"I welcome both AIB and Bank of Ireland's participation in the government-backed Home Energy Upgrade Loan Scheme, which is designed to make home energy upgrades more accessible and affordable for homeowners. Their participation broadens the financial options available to homeowners looking to invest in energy-saving improvements. This unsecured, 10-year, low-cost loan is available at a significant discount to current personal loan rates. By reducing the financial barriers to home energy upgrades, the Home Energy Upgrade Loan Scheme will enable more homeowners to improve the comfort of their homes while also supporting long-term energy savings and enhancing the country’s efforts towards a more sustainable and energy-efficient future."

William Walsh, CEO of SEAI, said:

"SEAI welcomes today’s announcement that further providers will now be offering competitive loans under the SBCI’s Home Energy Upgrade Loan Scheme. The availability of low-interest finance will make it more accessible and affordable for homeowners to increase the comfort of their homes and reduce their energy bills. We know that the upfront costs of investing in home energy upgrades can be a deterrent for those wishing to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. This low-interest loan scheme from SBCI will work in parallel with SEAI’s home energy grant programmes, making it easier for homeowners to begin their retrofit journey and move away from fossil fuels."

Geraldine Casey, AIB Managing Director of Retail Banking, said:

"AIB is delighted to offer the Home Energy Upgrade Loan Scheme to our customers in partnership with the SBCI. These low-cost loans will allow customers the opportunity to upgrade their homes, save money on energy bills and help the environment. Our purpose is to empower people to build a sustainable future. And by upgrading their homes, be it through insulation or heat pumps, our customers can do just that."

Henry Dummer, Bank of Ireland Director of Everyday Banking, said:

"Bank of Ireland is delighted to be open for applications for the Home Energy Upgrade Loan Scheme in partnership with the SBCI. With almost three quarters of the housing stock in Ireland BER rated C and lower, and with our research showing that six in ten homeowners plan to retrofit their home at some stage in the future, this low-cost loan scheme is another fantastic opportunity for customers to invest in the upgrade of their homes. The scheme will complement our innovative 'EcoSaver Mortgage' that offers customers interest rate reductions as their home becomes more energy efficient."

Further detail on the Home Energy Upgrade Loan Scheme, including the full eligibility criteria, are available on the SBCI and SEAI websites.