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is your city offering you financing to install solar?

AB 811 is a unique piece of legislation which allows borrowers to pay back investments in solar panels through property tax payments over a 20 year period. Rather putting residents through the pain of obtaining the upfront cost to go solar, more cities are encouraging their local residents get started with green energy by offering low interest loans that removes the largest barrier to entry and increases the adoption rate of solar panels. Since homeowners are used to paying their electric bills on a month to month basis, buying solar panels is nontraditional because the homeowner has to prepay their electric bill for the next 30 years. This is where the financing solves that problem by giving the homeowner the ability to make month to month payments on a solar electric system on their rooftop. Berkley, Palm Desert and Sonoma (cities in California) already have programs in place to provide financing to its citizens. Now San Diego has jumped on the AB 811 bandwagon, their program is going to start in July of this year. What do you think about more cities offering financing for solar panels through property taxes? Would you purchase a solar electric system if your city offered financing? Do you think this financing method will catch on to more cities around...

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Arizon Utility offers EZ financing for Solar Panels.

A partnership between the Arizona Utility, APS and the non-profit organization, Electric & Gas Industries Association now offers a new loan program that provides unsecured installment financing for residential renewable energy power generation systems such as solar electric systems and solar hot water panels. According to APS, the new GEOSmart loan is designed to eliminate upfront costs related to solar energy systems, which enable customers to use part of the financial incentives applicable to each system to buy down interest rates. For example, a 3 kilowatt (kW) costs about $21,000, when you factor in the residential tax credit for 2008 and the state rebates, the final cost is approximately $9,000. Through the financing program homeowners will have the option of financing the remaining finial cost, thus removing the upfront cost of going solar and eliminating out of pocket expenses that often are the largest barrier to entry for most customers. As I have mentioned in the past, technologically solar is doing great, much innovation is bringing down the cost per watt every year. Although the financial end is key to driving solar energy mainstream. If you think about the reason automobiles are so popular out here in America is because of the easy unsecured on the spot financing. Very few options like this exists for solar energy systems, banks are still understanding the value in financing solar energy systems for people. As the systems become more widely accepted, I feel more banks will create specialized programs to make solar energy systems affordable. Why do you think there is a lack of widely available financing for solar energy...

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City aims to make solar power more affordable for residents

The city of Tucson in Arizona is trying to finance the upfront costs of solar power through long term interest loans paid back through property taxes. Similar to a successful program in Berkley, CA in which the city made residential solar power possible for its citizens. Unfortunately Arizona Law does not allow for these type of loans to be paid through property taxes and is causing a headache for the city council to push through. Councilman Steve Leal, stated he’s not giving up on Tucson’s version of a plan pioneered in Berkeley, Calif. Purchasing solar power is requires a large investment upfront for most people to eliminate their bill, even when half the cost is covered by rebates and tax credits. When the city steps in and helps the citizens it not only stimulates the local economy but helps the city become energy independent. Its great to see all the grassroots, local government supporting solar even though the federal government isn’t supporting solar power as much as they...

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Financing Clean Energy

Going green isn’t cheap; the cost of a renewable energy power generation system is a high ticket purchase. With the average residential solar power system costing about $30,000 more financial institutions such as banks and credit unions are offering Solar Power loans to help consumers finance their renewable energy power systems which eliminate upfront costs and offer low monthly payments that are competitive to your existing monthly energy bill. Creative loan packages are being offered to consumers, for example Austin Energy, a community-owned utility in Austin, Texas, offers low-interest, no-fee loans up to $20,000 for the purchase and installation of PV solar systems, payable over 10 years with no prepayment penalties. Interest charged on loans made to purchase renewable energy power generation systems can be also deducted from taxes which makes the though of financing a system even more attractive. The #1 way consumers are purchasing residential solar power generation systems is through a home equity or lines of credit offered by banks, In many cases the loan payment is similar to the amount the consumer will be saving on their utility bill, which results in an immediate positive cash flow. According to Borrego Solar, a leader in installing solar power generation systems, there are a number of ways to finance a commercial solar power system. These include Property secured loans, Capital equipment loans, SAFE-BIDCO energy efficiency loans, Equipment secured loans, 3rd party...

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