How Being Kind To The Planet Can Save You Money

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With Cop26, the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, underway, the climate crisis once again dominates the headlines. While most of us understand the importance of living more sustainably, we also need to work within the budget we have.

With that in mind, the time seems right to point out that in an increasing number of situations, doing the right thing for the environment may also prove to be the best option for your budget.

Financial institutions are as keen as any other business to showcase their green credentials, and one of the main ways of doing this is through the products they offer.

So when you are making important financial decisions now and in the future, whether it’s what car or house to buy or how to renovate your home, it’s worth taking a look. eye to the products offered. The “greenest” option could come with additional financial benefits.

When it comes to personal loans, for example, AIB and BOI offer reduced rates in certain scenarios.

AIB’s green personal loan is offered at a rate of 6.4% APR, considerably lower than its current standard personal loan rate of 8.95% APR. In order to qualify for the lower rate, customers must prove that they are spending 50% or more of the money on a green initiative. Battery electric vehicles or plug-in hybrids are eligible, as are a range of home improvements including, but not limited to, wall, attic and floor insulation, upgrading or replacement. windows and doors; and renewable energy systems, including heat pumps and solar power. panels. The rate is available for loans from € 3,000 to € 60,000, and customers will be asked to include proof of its green purpose, by providing a quote or invoice in the app.

Likewise, BOI’s Green Home Improvement Loan is available to borrowers who are undertaking work on their home to improve its energy efficiency, and its variable rate of 6.5% APR is lower than both its variable rate. standard home improvement loan and personal loan rate. Loans of € 2,000 to € 65,000 are available for a range of home improvement work, and again, proof of the work undertaken will be required.

If you’re undertaking home improvement work, it’s also worth checking out An Post’s Green Hub. An Post offers a one-stop-shop project management service for major home renovations, in partnership with SSE Airtricity. If you want to do it yourself or take on smaller home improvement projects, An Post also offers simple loans. Depending on the amount borrowed, the APR could be as low as 4.9%, which is Ireland’s lowest lending rate for home energy upgrades. Consumers can borrow between $ 5,000 and $ 75,000 for up to 10 years, but for amounts down the scale the APR is much higher and you’ll likely get better value elsewhere.

The green loan also extends to home loans. Last month, the BOI increased its green rate discount on all fixed rates and introduced three new high value green rates, for which mortgages are € 300,000 or more. AIB, Haven and Ulster Bank also have green mortgages – with reduced rates available to buyers who buy energy efficient homes.

To qualify, borrowers must purchase a home with a defined minimum Building Energy Efficiency Rating (BER), typically B3 or better.

As Martina Hennessy of doddl.ie pointed out, BOI and other green mortgage products could be of particular interest to first-time buyers.

“The market for first-time buyers is the most active at the moment, with a 49% increase in direct debits year-on-year until the end of June 2021,” said Ms. Hennessy. “Most new builds will be eligible for these green tariffs, and new builds are the most popular with first-time buyers.

But green mortgages are also available for those who are negotiating up or down, and are also worth considering for any borrower considering changing their mortgage. If you’ve made any improvements to make your home more energy efficient, now you can access a green mortgage from your own lender or another lender.

Important provision – even with the reduced rates lenders charge on green mortgages, you may be offered a better rate in the market. Having a green mortgage does not in itself help the environment, these are just rates available to those who live in energy efficient homes. Always be sure to look at all the products available on the market, and not just those from your existing bank or financial institution, when borrowing.

But if choosing greener options means you can also benefit from a cheaper rate, it’s good for your pocket and for the planet.

Offer of the week

I’ve been writing for the past few weeks about buying now to cut spending over Christmas, and an item on sale at Aldi this weekend offers a way to sort out festive entertainment early.

On Sunday, the retailer will put on sale a Now TV Smart Stick for a bargain price of € 14.99.

The smart dongle is a small, portable device that plugs directly into your TV’s HDMI port and lets you watch streaming services on the big screen.

This stick comes with one month of access to the Now entertainment package and its cinema package. Access begins when you choose to turn it on, so it’s a great one to keep during the long days between Christmas and New Years. You can choose to renew or add other packages like sports.

The smart key also offers access to other services like Disney and Netflix, subject to separate subscriptions. Just plug into an HDMI port and connect to WIFI.


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