Big Four bank offers “green loan” for home solar, batteries

Image: Energizer Homepower

Australia’s Commonwealth Bank has announced it will offer its home loan customers up to $20,000 in low, fixed-interest finance to install rooftop solar systems, battery storage, electric vehicle chargers, or other eligible green technologies.

The new product, dubbed the CommBank Green Loan, was announced on Monday as part of the Big Four bank’s “commitment to the responsible global transition to net zero emissions by 2050,” a goal enshrined in the Paris climate agreement, but yet to be formally adopted by Australia’s federal government.

The Commonwealth Bank’s group executive, Angus Sullivan, said the Green Loan would offer an “historically low” 0.99% p.a. secured fixed rate to eligible home loan customers to fund up to $20,000 in renewables, repaid over 10 years with no set up charges, monthly service fees, or early repayment charges.

The bank says the loan could be used by customers to purchase and install a range of eligible small-scale renewable technology, including solar panels, battery packs, and electric vehicle charging stations at the property used as security for the existing home loan.

The initiative will start with an invitation-only pilot in February, in which select eligible customers will receive a direct offer to apply for the loan, followed by a national rollout scheduled for May.

“As Australia’s largest lender, we want to help as many customers as possible make their homes more sustainable,” Sullivan said, noting that adding rooftop solar, alone, could cut a household’s energy bill by up to around $500 a year.

“We have a responsibility to meet the current needs of our customers and the community while operating sustainably for future generations, and our new CommBank Green Loan will make financing more accessible.”

Clean Energy Council chief, Kane Thornton, welcomed the CommBank Green Loan, while urging those planning to take advantage of the offer to choose a CEC Approved Solar Retailer, trained to ensure systems met industry best practice standards and all relevant Australian Standards.

“Over 2.7 million Australians have installed solar panels on their homes, and it’s a great way to reduce your power bills and reduce your household’s carbon footprint,” Thornton said.

As noted above, the new loan becomes nationally available in May, but the bank is encouraging eligible customers to register their interest now at at commbank.com.au/greenloan.

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