Energy Efficient Mortgages: A greener future for Europe
The Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEM) Initiative is, today, unveiling its definition of an energy efficient mortgage which is the result of extensive cross-sectoral, market consultation of the lending institutions piloting the energy efficient mortgage framework and of the EEM Advisory Council.
Today’s announcement coincides with the start of the United Nations Climate Change Conference - COP24 - taking place in Katowice, Poland until 14 December.
The definition is intended as a concrete response to the efforts of the European Commission to construct a capital markets union, to facilitate the clean energy transition in line with the Paris Agreements, and in this context, to build a financial system that supports sustainable growth. It will provide a market benchmark to operationalise the integration of energy efficient mortgages into the business lines of the forty-one pilot lending institutions. At the end of 2017, these lending institutions represented 55% of mortgages outstanding in the European Union, equal to 25% of EU GDP, constituting significant critical mass in the market.
The EEM Initiative is a market-led initiative, funded via the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Programme, which aims to deliver a standardised European framework and data collection architecture for energy efficient mortgages, with favourable financing conditions for energy efficient buildings, energy saving renovations and anti-seismic measures.
The EEM Pilot Scheme was launched in June 2018, further to the engagement of market actors in a consultation process by way of national and European roundtable events. The pilot scheme lending institutions are supported by the EEM Advisory Council, which includes representatives from the European Commission, the European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Finance Corporation, The World Bank, UNEP Finance Initiative, the Scottish Government and Climate Bond Initiative.
Gerassimos Thomas, European Commission, Deputy Director-General for Energy, stated:
“I believe the EEM Initiative will bring a positive change in the market, providing more accessible financing for energy efficiency in buildings. It will facilitate the implementation of energy efficiency investments where they are most needed, in the buildings sector. Having agreed on a definition is an important step, opening the way for a quick roll-out of energy efficiency mortgages. The definition agreed upon is operational and easy to use, and can be strengthened in time, to match the high level of ambition of the EEM Initiative, and to make better use of the tools provided by the European legislative framework.”
Luca Bertalot, Energy Efficient Mortgages Initiative Coordinator, stated:
“Now is the time to take action, a market roadmap is the most effective way of delivering mortgage financing solutions to support European citizens in making their homes more energy efficient, comfortable, secure and therefore, ultimately, future-proof. The definition announced today provides a strong, operational market benchmark for lending institutions and a clear blueprint for the European Commission’s Sustainable Finance agenda, by facilitating cross-sectoral and institutional coordination and delivering market innovation and synergies.”