Green Loans Program

News Update

Interest-Free Green Loan to discontinue as of 22nd March – Federal funds to be re-channeled into an extra 600,000 Free Home Eco-Assessments.

What is the Green Loans Program?
What is a free home sustainability assessment?
How does it work?
Eligibility and conditions
How do I contact my nearest assessor?
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is the Green Loans Program?

The Australian Government’s Green Loans Program is funding:

  • free home sustainability assessments
  • interest-free Green Loans for recommended improvements.

The assessment uncovers the best energy and water savings options for your home, plus practical ideas to get you started. In some cases it may be as simple as switching to energy efficient light bulbs and repairing leaking taps.
Your assessment may also recommend bigger projects like installing solar panels, grey water filtration systems and rainwater tanks. To take that next step, you could apply for a Green Loan of up to $10,000 interest-free for four years.

Having your free home sustainability assessment is the first step to qualifying for a Green Loan.

Through the Green Loans Program the Government is creating greener homes—ultimately helping around 360,000 Australian households save energy and water and look after the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

What is a free Home Sustainability Assessment?

A qualified assessor will visit your home and advise you on the best actions to reduce your energy and water bills, increase the comfort of your home, and reduce damaging carbon pollution.

Your assessment will involve the physical inspection of major energy and water systems relating to thermal comfort, water heating, lighting, refrigeration, cooking, entertainment, water efficiency and outdoor consumption and waste management.

Your assessment will take around 1.5 hours depending on the amount of information readily available, the size of your property and the number of energy and water systems to check.

A few weeks after your assessment you receive a tailored home sustainability assessment report which is valid for six months. Your report recommends the best water and energy saving changes you can make to your property and practical information to help you get started.

How does it work?

The Green Loans Program is delivered in three steps.

Step 1—Book your free Home Sustainability Assessment

  • At no cost, a qualified home sustainability assessor will visit your home to investigate energy and water consumption patterns to identify actions that your household can take to save energy and water.
  • Only one free assessment will be available per applicant at a given address.
  • Renters, owners & landlords are eligible for an assessment!

Step 2—Receive your tailored home sustainability assessment report

  • A few weeks after the assessment you receive a tailored home sustainability assessment report, valid for six months, including:
    • The best water and energy saving changes you can make to your home
    • Practical information to get your household started.

Step 3—Choose which recommended actions you will take to improve your home

  • With a home sustainability assessment report, your household can make water and energy saving changes as simple or as large scale as you like.
  • The report is the first step in qualifying for an interest-free Green Loan of up to $10,000 from one of the Green Loans participating financial institutions.
  • Only one Green Loan is provided per home sustainability assessment report—but one loan can support many individual actions.

Your household may simply accept the report and implement the simplest recommendations.  Or you may choose to apply to a participating financial institution for an interest-free Green Loan to take more of the recommended actions.

Note: Having a Home Sustainability Assessment completed does NOT obligate you to apply for a Green Loan. Nor are you obligated to implement any of the recommendations of the report. However, many of the recommendations will have a low cost and will be easy to implement.

Eligibility and conditions

To be eligible to apply for a free home sustainability assessment or an interest-free Green Loan, you need to meet certain conditions.

Free home sustainability assessment conditions:

Applicants must be:

  • aged 18 or over
  • an Australian citizen, permanent resident and/or an Australian registered charity
  • the dwelling owner, a trustee or renter listed on lease
  • have an income below $250,000.

The house/property being assessed must:

  • be in Australia or its territories
  • have been completed and occupied for at least 12 months (not necessarily by the applicant).

Interest-free Green Loans conditions

A Green Loans applicant must:

  • Have undertaken a home sustainability assessment
  • Satisfy the lending criteria of a participating financial institution. The list of participating Finance Institutions is available here.
  • The Green Loan must be for a) actions recommended in the home sustainability assessment report, and b) the house/property listed on the report.

To find out more about the Green Loans Program Click here.

How do I contact my nearest assessor?

To book your FREE Home Sustainability Assessment click here or call (02) 8090 5411

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How can I book for an assessment?

Simply click here and complete our online booking form. Alternatively you can contact us on (02) 8090 5411 and our friendly staff will be able to assist you.

Do I have to have the house assessment to get the loan?

Yes, the loan exists to support the Household in adopting the recommendations outlined in the Assessment Report. Only those recommended actions from the report will be covered by the loan.
Do I have any obligations after receiving a Home Assessment?
No, you are not obligated to take out a loan, or make changes to your home. However, many of the recommendations will have a low cost and will be easy to implement.

Can Green Loans be used in conjunction with other Government rebates?

Yes. Eligibility for the loan subsidy is not affected by other available subsidies and incentives for the same items or actions.

What is the extent of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) available from the implementation of eligible actions under the Home Sustainability Assessments?

Normal REC arrangements apply through existing schemes. The Green Loans Program does not affect REC eligibility; nor will the Program be involved in the allocation of RECs.

For more information on RECs please click here -  http://www.orer.gov.au/recs/

What is the income threshold for Green Loans eligibility?

The Green Loans Program has a target upper threshold of $250,000 annual income for the applicant. Suitable evidence of an applicant’s taxable income may be requested and may include the most recent Notice of Assessment produced by the Australian Taxation Office.

Who pays for the assessment?

The Home Sustainability Assessment has a nominal value of $250 but is FREE to the Household as it is fully subsidised by the Australian Government. No fee should be paid by the Household to the Assessor for a Home Sustainability Assessment.

Why is the assessment free?

The Australian Government is subsidising the cost of the Home Sustainability Assessments because it recognises that charging a fee immediately restricts the uptake of the service and introduces issues of equity. Those in most need of support to reduce their operational energy and water costs are those least likely to have discretional income available to contribute to the cost of the Home Sustainability Assessment service.

Are renters eligible for the Green Loans Program?

Yes, providing they are listed on the current lease. Of course, you must adhere to the requirements of your lease in making any changes to the property.

Can I sign up for an assessment if I live in an apartment/townhouse?

Yes, the program is open for most homes including houses, apartments, townhouses and duplexes. The program is not available to government owned buildings such community housing.

Are new homes eligible for the Green Loans Program?

The Green Loans Program is aimed at increasing the efficiency of existing homes. The dwelling being assessed must have been completed and occupied for at least 12 months (not necessarily by the applicant). Suitable proof may include a certificate of occupancy or similar issued by a local or state government agency.

Other policies exist to address the energy and water performance of new homes. These policies include regulations such as BASIX in New South Wales, and minimum performance standards incorporated in the Building Code of Australia in all other states and territories.
Which financial institutions are offering the loan?

There has been a healthy response from credit unions and banks and many institutions have become partners. Participating institutions are listed below:

  • ANZ
  • Australian Central Credit Union
  • AWA Credit Union (available only to ALCOA Employees/Contractors and their families)
  • BDCU (available to residents of the shires of Wollondilly, Wingecarribee, Goulburn, Mulwaree and Yass Valley)
  • Community First Credit Union (Loans available Australia wide)
  • Heritage Building Society
  • Hunter United Employees’ Credit Union
  • Maleny and District Community Credit Union
  • MECU
  • New England Credit Union
  • Old Gold Credit Union (available only to Cadbury Schweppes Employees and their families)
  • Queensland Country Credit Union
  • Satisfac Direct Credit Union
  • Victoria Teachers Credit Union
  • Westpac Banking Corporation