MP calls on mortgage lenders to go green

An MP has called on banks and building societies to do much more for borrowers who wish to improve the energy efficiency of their homes and reduce carbon emissions.

Earlier this year Colin Challen, MP for Morley and Rothwell, and chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group, wrote to the 100 leading mortgage lenders ahead of the introduction of Home Information Packs on June 1 with their Energy Performance Certificates.

So far he has had responses from 32 leading lenders, and only one of them, Norwich and Peterborough, currently provides a green mortgage.

However, the Chorley is to launch a green mortgage “in due course”, the Hanley Economic says it will “later in 2007”. Saffron is to launch an environmental mortgage in the spring.

Of the 10 largest providers, Abbey is not developing a green mortgage.

Royal Bank of Scotland is conducting research, HSBC is considering a green mortgage and Barclays is looking to develop products to help customers reduce their carbon footprint.

Challen says: “I am encouraged that a handful of lenders now recognise they can help home owners do something immediately practical about climate change.

“But there needs to be a far more holistic approach to housing finance which encourages the creation of energy-efficient homes.

“Nothing is more political than the personal and more mortgage lenders need to wake up to the way they can help their customers make the world a home for us all.”