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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 of Berkeley Helps Finance Solar Power

The upfront investment of going solar is a major reason solar power is not as popular as its potential. The city of Berkley being a progressive city and supporting solar power has identified this bottle neck for consumers to buy solar power and have approved a loan program to get homes and business started with solar by offering a flexible loan program. Berkeley pays for the upfront cost of installing solar power by offering loans to property owners who pay the loan back over 20 years through their property taxes while taking advantage of lower power bills. Some solar industry professionals have stated that they are not sure if the Berkeley loan program is a good deal or not because its unclear if the property taxes will drop after the 20 years payback of the loan. One of the main advantages of solar power in California is that your property taxes don’t go up even though solar power adds significant value to your home or business. Even though the Berkeley program lets a property owner go solar without an upfront investment, I suppose it has its negatives. Although I really feel this program is worth it and more cities around the US should offer easy financing for property owners because the benefits are very...

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