So you want to build yourself a nice green sustainable home. Can you get the money to do it? Turns out that banks are often less than enthusiastic about making loans for non-traditional homes -- and, sadly, sustainable design can be considered such. If you're in the UK, you're in luck: the Ecology Building Society is a lending institution which specifically underwrites mortgages for "properties which given an ecological payback." According to their site, they focus on:
Anybody know of similar lending institutions in other countries?
What about Energy Efficiency Mortgages in the US? Here in Colorado we have a non-profit organization which inspects homes and gives them an energy rating. Based on the rating of the home and/or the expected benefits of energy efficient upgrades, part of the loan can be financed at 100% (I believe). There's more here:
I make my living designing "green" buildings. Our clients rarely have problems with mortgage approval. We stick to local banks that know local conditions. We can show a positive cash balance for our buildings versus business-as-usual. What we do is simple enough to be understood by an average 11 year old. So I'm not sure that the premise holds water.
In the early 80's, I was able to convince several small banks in my area to offer a lower mortgage rate to energy-efficient homes, because someone with lower fuel bills is more likely to meet the mortgage payments - they're lower risk. That was great, until the banks were swallowed by conglomerates. But the idea is returning now - good thing.