September 22, 2020

Green mortgages begin to take root in Spain

Green mortgages begin to take root in Spain


MADRIDUpdated:

By the end of 2020, public and residential buildings will have to comply with the energy efficiency guidelines imposed by the European Union, which establishes that they must have almost zero energy consumption. If we add to that Buildings are responsible for 40% of CO2 emissions and that consume between 30 and 40% of the world's energy, it is clear that the real estate market has to point to a very different horizon.

A process of change that begins to permeate promoters who offer new promotions that are raised in a sustainable manner. But the commitment to energy efficiency is also changing the mortgage market. The announcement that the n New mortgage law will activate "green" loans to encourage energy efficient buildings, both at the time of purchase and rehabilitation, has not caught by surprise some entities already involved in the creation of green mortgages in our country. And is that a few months ago the European Commission launched the Action Plan on Energy Efficient Mortgages (EeMAP) in which up to 37 financial entities -which accumulate 45% of mortgages signed in Europe- and 23 organizations of the real estate.

Reward efficiency

In Spain, the project is coordinated by the Green Building Council (GBCe) in strategic collaboration with Triodos Bank, together with the Madrid City Council on behalf of the public administration; of the financial sector (Triodos Bank, Caja Rural de Navarra and Union of Real Estate Credits, UCI) and the valuation sector (Cohispania and Tinsa).

But what is a green mortgage? «They are those that favor the purchase of buildings that are energy efficients or the reform of flats to make it so. Its operation is simple: incentivize with a lower interest to the extent that the energy efficiency of the home is greater », explains Beatriz García, Manager of Housing and Sustainable Construction of Triodos Bank. Something you know very well since it is the only financial institution that pioneered this product in the market as early as 2013. "We do not conceive sustainability as an accessory luxury, it is a value of first necessity for society, for our Health. We encourage households with better energy certification (from A to G) with a lower interest to stimulate the purchase or rehabilitation of more sustainable homes. Y When it comes to financing new construction we demand the highest energy certification and we value internationally recognized sustainability labels, says Beatriz García, who insists that "climate change, pollution and health problems are the same for everyone, but they especially affect those who have fewer resources. We have homes with disproportionate energy costs that many families are unable to address. " The estimations indicate that the green mortgage would allow to reduce the average cost of the homes in more than 4.000 euros and would contribute to alleviate the pollution in Europe, and it would help to fulfill with the Paris 2020 objectives. In addition, the energetic efficiency has not only an effect of risk mitigation for banks, but an increase in the value of the property.

From CoHispania, its president Eduardo Serra notes that "the valuation sector has the obligation to renew itself and create a standard for appraisals of sustainable and energy efficient buildings". To this end, it proposes to improve the training of technicians so that they are able to make a sustainable assessment and insists that the most important thing is to promote responsible consumption and caring for the planet. For Emilio Miguel Miter, Director of International Relations of the Green Building Council, «The viability of an energy efficiency mortgage would be guaranteed because the building would have a lower energy consumption, which would make it easier for the user to return the mortgage loan. In addition, an energy-efficient property has a greater value in the present and is less polluting, which places it in another orbit that makes it a better value for the future ».

Rehabilitate housing

Cátia Alves, responsible for the green mortgage project of the Real Estate Credit Union (UCI), points out that "a new era has begun where sustainability is a strategic axis" and explains that they put the accent on "greening" all those involved in it. the housing sector. But especially focus on helping the rehabilitation of the current real estate park. «We want to" green "the house" brown ", facilitate rehabilitation and that the citizen understands that it is not an expense but an investment. We want to focus on the focus of the problem, not on newly built homes with sustainable criteria, "says Alves. And it is that the energy rating of Spanish households is quite low: E groups 42% of total homes, followed by 37% with G, according to appraiser Tinsa.

In the absence of a formulation at European level, the financial sector works with the conviction that it can play a leading role against climate change, creating a green European mortgage based on energy efficiency.

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