ACT households offered up to $15k interest-free loans for electric vehicles

family charging electric vehicle bought with interest-free loan

Are you a Canberran with an electric vehicle on your Christmas or 2022 list? We’ve got news for you … 

This month, the ACT Government introduced the Sustainable Household Scheme to residents of the nation’s capital as part of its commitment to net zero emissions by 2045. Under the scheme, the government is offering interest-free loans between $2,000 and $15,000 to eligible homeowners to fund the cost of energy efficient products, including EVs.  

The loans can be paid back over a period of up to 10 years and there are also no upfront or ongoing fees attached to it.  

“As the impacts of climate change become increasingly evident, it is essential that governments work with the community to not only take meaningful action to limit our contributions to global warming, but to do so in a way that improves our quality of life,” said chief minister, minister for climate action, Andrew Barr in the Sustainable Household Scheme Guidelines for participants. 

“I am pleased to announce the introduction of the Sustainable Household Scheme (Scheme), to support Canberrans to reduce their energy use and costs and live more comfortably. This in turn will contribute to the ACT’s transition to net zero emissions by 2045. 

“The Scheme will provide $150 million in zero interest loans over five years to eligible households, individuals and not-for-profit community organisations, and be delivered through a contracted loans provider.” 

Partnering with home improvement loan provider Brighte, the ACT Government is set to offer the scheme up until 2026 (unless it’s extended). Apart from the scheme and loans, Brighte also offers a specialised interest-free Buy Now Pay Later service for home improvement purchases (including green ones) up to $30,000 and snapped up a 2021 Mozo Experts Choice Award for best specialised service. 

So, what about EVs? 

When it comes to purchasing an EV under the ACT’s Sustainable Household Scheme, there are a few things you need to be aware of. 

  • You’ll undergo a credit check: To qualify for the loan your finances must show that you are able to pay back what you owe. If you need to get your credit score back in shape, it’s a good idea to prioritise that before applying for more lending. 
  • You must have an ACT driver’s license: As well as reside in the ACT. 
  • You must be buying a vehicle that is powered by a zero emissions mechanism: Such as one powered by a battery (an EV). Also bear in mind the total cost of the vehicle must sit under the luxury car threshold for fuel efficient vehicles, which is currently $79, 659.  

The good news is this loan can be used for either new or used electric vehicles. Plus, the loan can be used to fund EV charging infrastructure in your home. To qualify for this, you must own a home in the ACT and the ‘unimproved value’ of your property must be up to $750,000 for a house or up to $200,000 for a unit. 

And you said this loan has no fees, right? 

Yes … if you make all of your repayments on time. 

According to the ACT Government, there are no upfront establishment or ongoing service costs charged on these loans. On top of that, there are also no early repayment penalties for those that pay down what they owe ahead of time. 

However, for those that miss their regular repayments, Brighte may charge late fees. 

Not sure if you qualify and want to compare other car loan options? Take a look below!

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What else does the ACT Sustainable Household Scheme cover?

Apart from the purchase of EVs, for ACT homeowners there’s other ways to use this loan, from new installations to improving current appliances. 

Here’s a rundown of what the Sustainable Household Scheme might cover: 

  • Solar panels
  • Battery storage systems 
  • Electric heating/cooling systems
  • Hot water heat pumps
  • Electric stove tops. 

The loan can also help cover the cost of any installation fees that may come with the product themselves. It’s important to remember, depending on what you are using the scheme for there may be different terms and conditions. For example, if you are improving an appliance to make it more energy efficient (like an electric stove top) you must prove that you are removing the inefficient electric appliance from your property. 

Want to find out more about your lending options? Take a look at our personal loan comparison page to weigh up loan providers.

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