Posted on 15/03/2022

Energy Efficiency at Home

self-builder Mortgage

Billy Holland sits down with Pete the Builder to discuss all things green

EBS has finally gone Green! “What does this mean” you might ask and in fairness we wouldn’t blame you. We haven’t painted our walls green and there’s still a normal amount of indoor plants around the place so what does ‘Going Green’ even mean?

It means we’ve launched our very first Green Mortgage. To help us explain what this is, we sat down with Mortgage Advisor Billy Holland and star of RTE’s Home Rescue, Peter Finn to go over everything from Building Energy Ratings (known as BER ratings in short) to energy efficient home improvements.

So Billy, tell us, what is an EBS Green Mortgage?

With the national (and global) focus on sustainability and reducing our carbon emissions, we wanted to give our customers a reason to be energy efficient in either the homes they buy, build or even currently live in. So if a house is energy efficient, meaning it has a BER rating of B3 or higher, we can offer customers the EBS Green Mortgage with a competitive 4 year fixed rate of 2.1%. Our lowest 4 year fixed rate ever actually.

That sounds great… but what’s a BER rating and how do I get one?

So a ‘BER’ or Building Energy Rating is a rating on the overall energy efficiency of a home or commercial building. For example, the likes of fridges come with energy labels that show you how much energy the appliance use up. Well a BER is basically an energy label for a home where A1 is the most energy efficient and G is the least.

To get a BER certificate on a home, you will need to reach out to your local BER assessor and get a quote. The assessor will then be able to guide you on next steps and what is involved / what you will need in a home assessment. You can start the process on the SEAI’s website (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland) by clicking here.

Last question for you Billy. Who can apply for an EBS Green Mortgage?

The EBS Green Mortgage is available to a variety of customers so long as the property in question is an energy efficient one (rated BER B3 or higher). So this would include customers that are buying their first home, moving to a new home or customers who want to switch their mortgage to EBS from another provider. If you fit into one of these categories give us a call, it’s a great rate and we’d be more than happy to help you.

So Pete, for those that are looking to build their dream home, is now a good time to do it?

In my opinion if the opportunity is available for anyone to be involved in a new build then I would say take this opportunity at any time. The personal satisfaction of completing a new build project is very hard to match. Obviously there are factors that will dictate when and how you can carry out any project, including  planning permissions, finance & personal life situations. There will be a couple of other factors to consider like industry rates and product availabilities but I would say that these industry driven factor shouldn’t hold anyone back on the dream of building their own home. The fact that covid restrictions are starting to lift and the cost of materials would appear to be starting to settle, I would say yes now is the time to get building. As always please enter this process in a structured and organised way. If you fail to prepare then you are preparing to fail!

And are we right in saying that a self-build will be energy efficient?

When building a home you will have to meet the current building regulations and therefore you will be automatically achieving an energy efficient rating for your home. One of the advantages of building your own home is that you get to have the final decision on the rating that your home will achieve. Achieving a high energy efficiency is quiet simply an excellent investment into your home as it will lead to cost savings going forward in terms of the running cost of your home and you are also helping in the global Climate change battle by having an energy efficient home. Most new build homes will typically achieve an A2 BER rating but this can be improved through architectural design, insulation details and the use of energy efficient products to heat and run your home.

Ok well that’s good to know. Can you tell us what are the must haves to reach that A rating when building?

There’s a lot of factors that come together that give your home a good BER rating but the key elements to getting that A rating are Insulation, Airtightness and using an energy efficient heating system. I’ll break those down.

INSULATION: You simply can never have enough insulation in your home and when it comes to a new build you have the opportunity to really invest in insulation properly as you have a blank canvas to start from. So think about how you can insulate your home literally from the foundations up.

AIRTIGHTNESS: Achieving a high level of airtightness in your home is a huge advantage when it comes to reducing the amount of energy required to heat your home. Correct airtightness construction details being implemented during construction are essential to achieving a good airtightness rating. So get yourself in the know on this and ensure you use a competent contractor. It is also critically important to ensure that your home has the correct ventilation.

ENERGY EFFICIENT HEATING: The use of an energy efficient heating system like an air to water heat pump or geothermal heating systems are important when it come to getting to an A rating. Also the use of renewable energy products like solar PV panels are recommended.

Finally Pete, for people who own their own home, is there anything they can do to make their current home more energy efficient?

Yes absolutely. There is currently a huge drive by the government to get homes all across the country retro fitted and to increase the BER rating of homes to B2 standard. There are massive incentives for this now as there are very healthy grants widely available through the SEAI Home Energy Upgrade scheme. I would highly recommend people go to and see what grants are available to them. Retro fitting your home with increased insulation and renewable energy for heating, hot water & electricity is a fantastic investment in your home. It really is a no brainer decision so now is 100% the right time get retro fitting and to take advantage of the grants available to do so.

Brilliant. I think we’ve pretty much covered a good bit there guys so thank you both for your help in breaking all that down.

So if you’re reading this and you’re a first time buyer, a mover or you’re thinking about switching your mortgage and you’re interested in energy efficiency in the home, come talk to us. Let’s sit down and discuss all things green… which in our case is a 4 Year Fixed Rate Green Mortgage.

So click here and book a meeting with one of our Mortgage Advisors now.

A typical €100,000, 20 year mortgage for an Owner Occupier Residential Property with a ‘Green’ 4 year Fixed rate of 2.1% and APR 3.2%, this includes 48 monthly fixed repayments of €510.63 and 192 variable repayments of €574.89. If the interest rate does not vary (based on today’s equivalent variable Rate of 3.70%) during the term of the mortgage, the total cost of credit i.e. the total amount repayable less than the amount of the loan would be €35,104.78 (inclusive of €215.00 valuation report fees). The total amount repayable would be €135,104.78. The effect of a 1% increase in the prevailing variable rate (3.70%) will add €42.48 to the 192 monthly variable repayments.

Available to new and existing customers. An early breakage charge may apply in the case of existing customers. A valid BER certificate of B3 or higher is required. Self-Build applicants can only avail of this rate once the property is complete and all funds are drawn. Lending criteria, terms and conditions apply. Rates correct 24/02/2022. Not available to U18s. Security may be required. EBS d.a.c is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

  • Warning: If you do not meet the repayments on your loan, your account will go into arrears. This may affect your credit rating, which may limit your ability to access credit, a hire- purchase agreement, a consumer-hire agreement or a BNPL agreement in the future.