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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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Berkeley Helps Residents Go Solar

Berkeley City Council approved a measure that would establish a “sustainable financing district” which gives loans to property owners in the city to install grid tied solar power systems on their homes. Property owners have the option to join a special tax district in which the resident can get a loan from the city up to ,000 to retrofit their home with solar panels. The property owner would pay back the loan through an increase in their property taxes over 20 years. Residents would pay an extra $182 dollars a month at an interest rate of 6.75%. If electric rates continue to rise at some point the resident would saving more on their electric bill then they are paying monthly to repay the loan back through their property taxes. This is the first city in the nation that is offering a solar financing program to their residents, its really a ground breaking achievement towards local community based solar power. Berkeley is committed to reduce the greenhouse gases the city contributes to the environment. The pilot program will involve 50 homes although the City of Berkeley is still working to find a lender to help them finance the initiative. Cities around the globe are watching the city to see how the program plays out. I really hope Berkeley finds a lender, with the financial markets in term oil it’s going to be difficult to get a lender to participate, although on the other hand there are many investors looking to diversify their portfolios into green energy. I have to applaud the city for leading and bleeding and taking risk to push solar power into the mainstream by making it more affordable. What do you think, will they be able to raise the financing to pull off the solar energy loan...

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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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