Barclaycard offers 'green' loans

Barclaycard offers 'green' loans

Breathe Easy to help reduce household carbon emissions

Barclaycard is developing the UK's first linked credit card and loan which it claims can tackle household carbon emissions.

Barclaycard Breathe Easy is set to launch in summer 2008, and will assist homeowners who want to invest in making their homes more energy efficient.

Research from the Energy Saving Trust suggests that the average UK household could save around two tonnes of carbon dioxide each year by making their home more environmentally friendly.

However, many consumers claim that they are unable to implement the necessary products owing the high initial cost and the length of return on investment.

"Many homeowners are put off investing in greater home energy efficiency by the cost and the long time it takes for their investment to pay in terms of lower energy bills," said Marcus Agius, chairman of Barclays.

"Barclaycard Breathe Easy addresses this challenge and is a good example of the role which financial institutions can play in helping consumers reduce household carbon emissions."

The scheme works by allowing Breathe Easy customers to buy home insulation products at a discount from one of Barclays' partners, and to repay the cost as a loan.

Monthly repayments are expected to be in line with the savings they would make on their energy costs.

Barclays claims that this makes the project affordable for the householder and beneficial to the environment. Once the loan has been repaid the customer will continue to reap the benefits of the installation.

Barclaycard released its Breathe credit card in July which donates half of its profits to carbon reduction projects around the world, and offers cardholders lower rates and discounts to promote greener spending.