Barclaycard is developing the UK's first linked credit card and loan aimed at helping tackle household carbon emissions. Barclaycard Breathe Easy, planned for launch in summer 2008, will assist homeowners who want to invest in making their homes more energy efficient while also supporting broader efforts to tackle climate change.
Barclaycard Breathe Easy is being developed in conjunction with customers, retailers and manufacturers. It will allow customers to benefit from discounts from retail partners on home improvements which increase energy efficiency and, through the use of the loan facility, from a low interest rate on these balances.
A customer using Barclaycard Breathe Easy to purchase home insulation products would receive an initial discount from one of Barclays’ partners. They would then repay the cost as a loan where their monthly repayments are expected to be in line with the savings they would make on their energy costs. This makes the whole project affordable for the householder and beneficial to the environment. After the loan period, the customer will make savings for as long as they live in the house.
Marcus Agius, chairman of Barclays, said: Many homeowners are put off investing in greater home energy efficiency by the cost of doing so and the long time it takes for their investment to pay them back in terms of lower energy bills. 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.