EIB and Unión de Créditos Inmobiliarios join forces to boost energy efficiency projects in Spain and Portugal

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The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Unión de Créditos Inmobiliarios (UCI) are set to finance green investments in Iberia ranging from the refurbishment of existing buildings to the construction of Nearly Zero-Energy properties.  These investments will be possible thanks to the provision of energy efficiency mortgages and consumer loans to the market by UCI.

The agreement will enable UCI to generate a new portfolio of green financing of at least EUR 100 million in Spain and Portugal, which includes mortgages, loans to individuals and loans to associations. To this end, the EIB will participate in the senior tranche of a residential mortgage-backed security (“RMBS”) for a total amount of approximately EUR100million. The securitised portfolio has been originated by UCI and is made up of existing Portuguese mortgage loans. This de-linked operation will reinvigorate UCI’s funding capabilities to launch and actively market new green energy product lines, thus expanding UCI´s financing capacity to provide energy efficiency loans in the region. This is the first project supported by the EIB that involves the creation of a portfolio of new energy efficiency loans that fulfil the requirements set by both the EU bank and the Energy Efficiency Mortgage Action Plan (EeMAP), an initiative run by the European Mortgage Federation and encouraged by the European Commission (EC).

The EIB support will enable UCI to finance the construction of Nearly Zero-Energy Buildings and the energy refurbishment of residential properties in Spain and Portugal, with the final beneficiaries being private individuals and homeowners associations. The project will help to meet the region’s climate and energy-saving targets and attract investments in the field of energy efficiency, while promoting the capital market for Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (RMBSs) in Iberia, especially Portugal, where investments in this field have been modest since the past financial crisis.

It is estimated that around 25,000 m2 of new buildings will be constructed and 450,000 m2 of properties will be refurbished in Spain and Portugal. Over 3,000 people will benefit from these investments and the total final energy savings are projected to be 43.7 GWh per year after their complete implementation. In addition, the sub-projects are expected to create 1,230 jobs during the construction period.

Emma Navarro, EIB Vice-President responsible for the Bank’s activity in Spain and Portugal and for its Climate Action, said: “Despite the challenging circumstances we all face and the focus of our efforts in combating COVID-19, we will not lose sight of the EIB’s long-term objective to underpinning Europe’s transition to a low-carbon economy and society. We are very pleased to support this innovative operation that stimulates energy efficiency investments in Spain and Portugal and that shows our commitment to continue promoting green projects. We will do our utmost to ensure that Europe’s recovery after the health emergency is climate and environmentally-focused.”

Roberto Colomer, Chief Executive Officer of UCI, stated that “Our collaboration with the EIB under the EMF’s EEMI project will allow us to continue promoting energy efficiency and more sustainable homes in both Spain and PortugalThe renovation of homes and buildings in Europe is essential if we are to fulfil the objectives of the Horizon 2030 plan for sustainable development in the EU, a goal to which UCI is fully committed”.

The recovery from the COVID-19 crisis should be based on a new green paradigm which secures new economic and social attitudes. The starting point will be a re-evaluation of the space and environment in which we live, in a completely different and, most importantly, sustainable way. Green investment in buildings will be the central cog of a mechanism which will trigger a new culture in the market”, said Luca Bertalot, Secretary General of the European Mortgage Federation.

UCI will offer four different product lines: Green personal loans for the refurbishment of condominiums; Green personal loans for the refurbishment of individual properties; Green mortgage loans for newly built properties (energy classes A or B); and Green mortgage loans for existing properties (purchase and refurbishment).

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