European banks can lend money at more favourable interest rates for energy efficient properties, thanks to the Energy Efficient Mortgages Initiative.
Since 2017, the Energy Efficient Mortgages Initiative has been working to ensure Europe’s mortgage markets account for the energy efficiency of properties. Over 50 banks and financial institutions representing a quarter of Europe’s GDP have joined the initiative. Together, they represent over 55% of Europe’s mortgages. The initiative comprises two Horizon 2020 projects: the action plan for standardised energy efficient mortgages EeMAP, and the energy efficiency data protocol and portal EeDaPP.
The EeMAP project has developed a definition of a green mortgage, and contributed to the EU’s work on sustainable finance. Thanks to the initiative, it is expected that lenders will be able to provide on average 8% of extra financing for energy efficiency improvements to properties. This amounts to around 23 billion Euros per year, helping to fill the investment gap for the EU to meet its Paris Agreement targets, estimated at over 200 billion per year. In June 2019, a subsidiary of Poland’s largest bank PKO became the first to issue a 58 million Euro green covered bond in line with this initiative.
In the meantime, the EeDaPP initiative is collecting and analysing data relating to energy efficiency mortgages as well as designing common data protocols and a centralized portal that will be made available to the market. This will facilitate the earmarking of such assets for the purposes of green and energy efficient bond issuance.