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Call for ‘green mortgages’
The UK Government and banks are being urged to do more to reward borrowers who want to do their bit for the environment.
Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment Alex Neil said the UK Government must use its reserved powers over the banking sector to ensure greater lending to stimulate the economy.
Most lenders still require customers to provide an average deposit of 20-25 per cent to secure a mortgage after the credit crunch.
Mr Neil wants banks to consider offering accessible mortgage products for people looking to buy more energy efficient properties which would bring down carbon emissions as well as household fuel bills.
And he has today announced that a summit will be held later this month with a number of developers and financiers to explore and test possibilities directly with relevant stakeholders.
Mr Neil said:
"With our climate here in Scotland, we cannot afford to drag our heels over moves to beat fuel poverty.
"Helping increase the uptake of more energy efficient homes would be a massive step on the way to doing this.
"The financial institutions are missing a trick. They need to look to adapting their products by introducing green mortgages.
"They should recognise that new technologies are key to energy efficient homes and a vital element in economic recovery.
"Existing and prospective home owners should be encouraged and supported to invest in new forms of technology and energy efficiency measures, and lenders need to be part of the solution by providing suitable home loans."
Around 450,000 extra homes will be needed in Scotland by 2033 to meet demand, based on National Records of Scotland projections. These houses will need to comply with greenhouse gas emissions targets.
Household energy costs rose by 128 per cent between 2000 and 2010.
The Greener Homes Summit will be held on November 23 at South Lanarkshire College, East Kilbride.