'Green Loans' for 75,000 households



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The Federal Government will begin offering Australian homeowners new 'Green Loans' from the start of July, it has been announced.

Four year interest free loans of up to $10,000 each will be available as of July 1 to assist with households in improving the energy and water efficiency of their residences.

As part of the Loans program, applicants' homes will first undergo a detailed Home Sustainability Assessment - the money then being used to make changes recommended through the evaluation.

An initiative to help Australia tackle climate change, Environment Minister Peter Garrett said that already 1,000 home sustainability assessors are ready to begin work and credit providers signed up to commence the program.

"Through Green Loans we are making it easier for...Australian homeowners to learn what they can do to make their homes more energy efficient from an accredited assessor," he said.

"The fact is that for many households the assessor will identify simple, low-cost actions like changing light globes, sealing draughts and repairing leaking taps...However, there will also be larger-scale recommendations [such as] installing solar [panels] or solar hot water or ceiling insulation."

Many of the larger-scale improvements can already be adopted at a reduced or zero cost with the Government's current rebates program, Minister Garrett said.

The Green Loans money will therefore allow householders to make "alternate changes", he said, "enabling them to be well and truly equipped for a low pollution future."

As part of the initiative, which will run for five years, home assessments will be offered free to 360,000 households and a total of 75,000 loans will be made available.

In-home assessments will begin in every capital city from next week before the full-program kicks in in two months time.

For more information and to register your interest, visit the Government's Green Loans website.