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Green Finance Institute brings out broker handbook on green retrofit solutions

  • 28/02/2023
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Green Finance Institute brings out broker handbook on green retrofit solutions
Green Finance Institute (GFI) has launched a broker handbook, which is a guide to “educate and inform” intermediaries on different green home retrofit solutions and technologies.

The firm said that this “practical guide” would help brokers understand opportunities in the mortgage sector through improving energy efficiency.

The handbook has nine sections in total, including chapters on understanding customer drivers and motivation, opportunities and benefits of green finance, approaches to retrofit, green mortgages, profiles of retrofit solutions and technologies, installer standards and quality assurance and policy and regulatory landscape.

The guide has been developed in association with Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI), Building Societies Association (BSA), Energy Savings Trust, Equity Release Council, Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA), L&G Mortgage Club, Mortgage Climate Action Group (MCAG) and UK Finance.

The handbook has also been accredited as part of the London Institute of Banking & Finance’s (LIBF) CPD programme.

The GFI said that the green mortgage sector had grown rapidly over the past four years, going from three to 50 products over the period, noting that many brokers were “new to the opportunities that green mortgages provide”.

It continued that mortgage brokers had a “wide-ranging, long-standing and trusted relationships with homebuyers” and, therefore, had a vital play to role in decarbonisation of housing stock.

UK buildings account for around 23 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions.

Emma Harvey-Smith (pictured), built environment director at the GFI, said: “Rising prices are causing widespread concerns for both domestic and commercial energy consumers.

“Mortgage brokers are a key part of the puzzle when it comes to facilitating better insulated homes that cost less to heat and support a net zero future.”

She continued that guide would “provide the clarity needed for brokers to now be armed with enough information to fully support customers and clients on this journey”.

Harvey-Smith added that there was more consumer interest in financial products offering green solutions due to rising energy bulls.

“Now is the time to act, and the fledgling green mortgage market will go some way to benefit consumers seeking finance,” she noted.


‘Invaluable source of authoritative reference information’

Robert Sinclair, chief executive of AMI, thanked the key stakeholders and the GFI for working on the handbook, which he said was a “crucial learning tool”.

He said: “At AMI with our website, we are focused on bringing together a single source of truth on what is and will remain a complex area. Intermediaries will need to evidence their professionalism by helping guide consumers through the maze of how to reduce their carbon footprint.

“For most, the biggest single contribution they can make is to improve how their home works. Using this guide and other tools will put the mortgage intermediary at the heart of the advice journey,” he added.

Paul Broadhead, head of mortgage and housing policy at the BSA, noted that decarbonising UK housing stock to meet UK net zero targets was an “enormous challenge that will require action from every part of the housing market”.

He added that building societies and credit unions had a critical role to play and many were already providing finance to customers to retrofit homes. However, he said that to meet the government’s target this would need to “rise dramatically”.

He said: “Mortgage brokers are a key part of the solution to this retrofit challenge, given their dominance in providing advice to the majority of consumers taking out mortgages today. We strongly welcome the GFI’s handbook as a vital tool which will provide critical information to help borrowers to navigate the ever-growing energy improvement and green financing options available to them.”

Kate Davies, executive director at IMLA, continued: “Mortgage brokers are currently faced with a bewildering array of rules, regulations and proposals regarding the energy efficiency of residential property.

“We congratulate the GFI for producing this most welcome handbook – which provides brokers with an invaluable source of authoritative reference information. It will help them navigate their way through the jungle – and enable them to advise their clients with confidence and clarity.”

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