EBRD lends PLN 350 million to Santander for greener homes in Poland

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo
@pyrkalo

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  • EBRD lends PLN 350 million (€75 million) to Santander Consumer Bank
  • Loan extended under the Polish Residential Energy Efficiency Financing Facility
  • Home improvements to range from solar panels to boilers

The EBRD is providing a senior loan of up to PLN 350 million (€75 million equivalent) to Santander Consumer Bank S.A. (SCB) to help homeowners in Poland improve the energy and resource efficiency of residential buildings.

SCB will on-lend the EBRD funds through local-currency loans to private individuals to finance eligible energy-saving and renewable energy sub-projects in residential buildings. These projects will include the installation of photovoltaic solar panels, the replacement of coal-fed boilers, the thermal insulation of external partitions and similar improvements, in line with minimum performance requirements.

Melis Ekmen Tabojer, Director for EU Banks and Structured Finance in the EBRD’s Financial Institutions Group, said: “We are proud to sign this agreement and expect significant interest in the market for the energy and resource-efficiency loans our funds will finance. The EBRD is pleased to note increasing awareness of the importance of sustainable and green development in many of the economies in which it operates.”

Elisabetta Falcetti, EBRD Regional Director for Central Europe and the Baltic States, said: “The start of the heating season puts today’s agreement in timely context. We look forward to working with a strong partner such as Santander Consumer Bank in order to reach as many investors in residential energy efficiency as possible.”

The loan is being provided through the Polish Residential Energy Efficiency Financing Facility (PolREEFF), under which the Bank has earmarked €200 million for energy efficiency in homes. In Poland, the residential sector consumes about 40% of the country’s primary energy, mainly for heating, and about half of pollution comes from old coal-fired boilers. PolREEFF is aligned with the national Clean Air Priority Programme to replace outdated heating and modernise single-family homes, launched in 2018.

SCB is a consumer bank focusing mainly on retail clients and operating exclusively in Poland. It is 60 per cent owned by Santander Bank Polska and 40 per cent by Santander Consumer Finance.

SCB has already distributed an EBRD loan for residential energy efficiency, which it on-lent for larger projects. The new loan will be disseminated among many more customers in much smaller amounts. This will require SCB to train its staff and introduce new systems. To this end, SCB will receive technical support, financed by the TaiwanBusiness-EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund and the Polish government through the EBRD-EU Special Fund.

Promoting the low-carbon economy is a central focus of the EBRD’s work in Poland, where the EBRD has invested €11.8 billion to date.

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