Energy Efficient Mortgages: Green Loans That Don't Bankrupt the Earth

Energy-efficient mortgages fund the design and construction of efficient new homes and renovation of existing homes.

| July/August 2007

Energy-efficient mortgages (EEMs) are a well-kept secret, even though they’ve been around for 20 years. These mortgages promote the design and construction of efficient new homes, as well as the green renovation of existing homes.

“EEMs probably wouldn’t hit the radar, they’re so underutilized,” says Claudia Brovick, public affairs director of the Residential Energy Services Network.

To raise awareness, former Vice President Al Gore promoted carbon-neutral mortgages in a speech last fall. He called for the creation of “Connie Mae” to provide such loans and “remove the purchase price barrier for such improvements,” including more efficient heating and cooling, thicker insulation and windows with insulating coatings.

Nearly any lender can offer an EEM, but most don’t. “We’re trying to generate consumer demand so mortgage companies will respond and EEMs will be more common,” Brovick says, emphasizing that these mortgages take no additional time to process.

Here's how they work: Using an independent energy rating and recommendations from a certified rater, mortgage brokers and underwriters calculate how much homeowners will save by using green building practices, energy-efficient appliances and the like. Those savings get added to an applicant’s income, which improves the debt-to-income ratio. “A more affordable home means you can afford more home,” says Joel Wiese, a mortgage broker with Indigo Financial Group in Michigan, which specializes in EEMs.

Yes, you may borrow more money, but the energy savings more than offset the higher monthly payment. You can use these loans to finance new construction, remodels and upgrades for resale homes, or to refinance your current home.



September 12-13, 2019
Seven Springs, Pennsylvania

Fermentation Frenzy! is produced by Fermentation magazine in conjunction with the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR. This one-and-a-half day event is jam-packed with fun and informative hands-on sessions.


Subscribe today and save 58%

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living !

Mother Earth LivingWelcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds

click me