The Ecology Building Society specialises in funding green mortgages for properties offering an ecological payback. They lend money to people who want to build energy-efficient new homes.
As well, in 2004, 39% of the society's mortgages were for the repair and restoration of run-down property. You can read about a windmill restoration project in Worcestershire here.
Refurbishment and restoration is key to lowering carbon emissions. 80 per cent of the homes that will be in use in 2050 have already been built.
The Green Building Council is calling for a “pay as you save” system. A homeowner or landlord would borrow the costs of improvements (new windows and insulation) from a council or bank. We would then pay the money back, over a number of years, with the costs covered by lower energy bills. This would virtually eliminate up-front costs to the consumer. It could also lead to tens of thousands of "green-collar" refurbishment jobs.
In contrast to the tsunami unleashed by financial speculation, we need to get back to investing in the real economy.