Westpac Interest-free loans include Solar PV

Westpac NZ says the launch of a new interest-free loan will help customers make their homes warmer and healthier, while also creating work for tradespeople affected by the COVID-19 downturn.

Wednesday, 3 June 2020, 3:17 pm
Press Release: Westpac

Originally published on Scoop

A survey of more than 1000 people for Westpac NZ reveals seven out of ten Kiwis expect to spend more time inside their house this winter than in other years.

Two-thirds of respondents said they had already noticed an increase in their power bill since New Zealand went into level 4 lockdown.

The survey results come as Westpac launches ‘Westpac Warm Up’ loans, which offer up to $10,000 of lending interest-free for five years so that home loan customers can purchase heat pumps, solar panels, ventilation, double-glazing or insulation.

Westpac NZ Customer Experience Hub General Manager, Karen Silk, says the timing of the launch will deliver benefits to households and small businesses.

“We’ve all got used to spending more time at home recently and most people expect that to continue through winter. More than three out of five people told us they expect higher power bills and many of them were concerned.

“That’s why we’re urging customers to think about using this interest-free loan to make their home warmer, drier and more energy efficient.

“On top of improving comfort in your home, the installation will also provide important business to tradespeople navigating their way out of COVID-19. We think this is a great way people can support the small businesses and sole traders who deliver these services.”

38% of people surveyed were worried that cold or damp conditions in their home could cause or worsen health problems for household members, while 89% of said it was ‘very important’ or ‘extremely important’ to live in a house that is warm and dry.

Ms Silk said the loan could be paid off interest-free over five years.

“We think this is an important way we can walk the talk and help New Zealanders make their home healthier for themselves and more sustainable for the environment.

“COVID-19 is the great challenge of our time, but we know climate change will also cause enormous economic, social and health problems in the future if left unchecked.

“Our customers know that too. More than half of those surveyed said it was important to have an energy-efficient house that reduces the impact on the environment and climate change.”

The loan is available to eligible Westpac NZ home loan customers, including landlords.

Westpac Warm Up loan:

- existing or new home loan customers can borrow up to $10,000 interest free for 5 years

- Loan can be used to fund the installation of:

  • Insulation
  • Heat pump(s)
  • Double glazing
  • Ventilation

 - A solar power system

  • Installation must be completed by an installer who installs insulation, heat pumps, ventilation, double glazing and/or solar power systems as part of their usual business.

- More information about applying and eligibility can be found at https://www.westpac.co.nz/home-loans/warm-up/

Nexus Planning & Research was commissioned by Westpac NZ to conduct the research. It surveyed 1005 New Zealanders in May 2020. The margin of error is +/- 3.1%.

Do you expect to be spending more time in your house this winter than in previous years?
Yes 70%
No 19%
Don’t know 11%

Have you noticed an increase in your household's power use since the beginning of the level 4 lockdown?
Yes 66%
No 26%
Don’t know 8%

Do you expect to have higher power bills this winter than in previous years?
Yes 64%
No 25%
Don’t know 11%

[For people who answered ‘yes’ above] Does having higher power bills this winter compared to previous years make you concerned?
Very concerned 24%
Somewhat concerned 52%
Neither concerned or unconcerned 17%
Somewhat unconcerned 5%
Very unconcerned 2%

Does your house have issues with coldness and dampness, and if so, do you worry this could cause or worsen health problems for someone in your household?
Very worried 11%
Quite worried 27%
Not worried 21%
My house is not cold or damp 40%
Don’t know 1%

How important is it that your home is warm and dry? How important is an energy efficient house that reduces your impact on the environment and climate change?
Extremely important 51% 20%
Very important 38% 33%
Somewhat important 9% 36%
Not very important 1% 8%
Not at all important 1% 3%

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