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A lot of these comments and questions have been about the high upfront cost of solar, even after federal and state incentives. Yet a number of states are pioneering new public financing models that allow municipal governments to finance solar and energy efficiency projects on private property. But unlike a conventional loan a homeowner might get from the bank, these loans are attached to the property tax or the utility bill. No credit checks. Very small upfront costs for the homeowner. And the value of the projects stay with the property even if you sell it.
California was one of the first states to do this. Colorado, New Mexico and Virginia followed. In Oregon, HB 2181 (http://www.leg.state.or.us/09reg/measpdf/hb2100.dir/hb2181.a.pdf) enables communities throughout the state to set up these types of programs.
At the end of the day, it makes no sense to install solar without first addressing the energy performance of the building. So any programs that help homeowners take action for both energy efficiency and solar projects at the same time -- and that simplify the process and reduce the out-of-pocket costs -- seem to hold the most promise for addressing our enormous energy challenges.
posted 3 years, 11 months ago
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