8 Mar 2011

Nutarsaaneq to keep Greenland's homes warm

The Bank of Greenland is offering its customers a new, partly NIB-financed, environmental loan facility for improving energy efficiency in private households. The goal is slashed electricity bills for the customers and a better environment for everyone.

"The environment and the economy go hand in hand. At the Bank of Greenland we have combined environmental thinking with good economy in the new loan facility we call Nutarsaaneq, meaning renewal in Greenlandic," says Martin Kviesgaard, CEO of the Bank of Greenland.

"Keeping homes in Greenland warm is hard on the environment and expensive for the inhabitants. With this new loan facility, which is offered at a low interest rate, we give private home owners a possibility to improve their homes and make them more environmentally friendly and energy efficient," Mr Kviesgaard explains.

The Bank of Greenland started looking into the idea of an environmental loan facility about a year ago as there was a lack of incentives for energy optimisation of badly insulated private households on the Arctic island.

During the spring of 2010, the bank allocated a total sum of DKK 50 million for the environmental facility. In February 2011, NIB provided the Bank of Greenland with a DKK 25 million loan (EUR 3.35 million) for this purpose.

"People in Greenland use a lot of energy to heat their houses, which is damaging the environment and reducing the value of their homes," Mr Kviesgaard says.

The public's response to the initiative has been positive. According to Mr Kviesgaard, the response to the facility in terms of new environmental loans has been much greater than expected. There are many loans in the pipeline averaging about DKK 200,000 (EUR 27,000).

In addition to improved insulation of private homes and their heating systems, qualifying projects include installation of new windows, heat pumps and solar panels. The latter sounds contradictory for an island mainly covered by ice, but Mr Kviesgaard disagrees.

"We have enough sun. In fact, solar energy is more relevant than wind energy in Greenland. Here in the north, the sun hardly sets during the summer," Mr Kviesgaard concludes. 

Related resources

Press Release

23.2.2011

NIB to finance Bank of Greenland’s environmental loan facility