March 3, 2005


Green Home Loans

Ecology office
Ecology Building Society eco-offices

The Triodos Bank is one of few UK lenders to look kindly on loans for off-grid properties. Borrowing on unusual properties is made harder by big lenders like Nationwide and Halifax — they charge extra-high interest rates for the loans, while the Triodos offers a normal rate — for them the use of solar and wind energy is a plus.

While it is unlikely you will find cheap loans on Green properties, there are also a few local councils, for example Burnley’s Community Credit Union, offering averagely-priced loans for home improvements to save energy — but none are as wide-ranging as The Ecology which is “dedicated to improving the environment by promoting sustainable housing and sustainable communities.” The building society is focused on energy efficient housing; ecological renovation; derelict and dilapidated properties; small-scale and ecological enterprise and low-impact lifestyles (i.e.providing finance to those living off the grid).

The Ecology granted its first discount mortgage on an earth-sheltered dwelling in 1998. Earth sheltering combines low energy use and minimal disruption to land and flora. The mortgaged property forms part of the Hockerton Housing Project in Southwell, Nottinghamshire, one of the most advanced developments in sustainable housing in Europe.

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