FUNDING FOR SOLAR PANELS UNDER WAY

USA State rep Strama proposes loan program for solar panels

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State Rep. Mark Strama, D-Austin, told a House Energy Resources subcommittee that a solar power measure would create a loan system to help homeowners like him pay for pricey rooftop solar panels.

If the proposal becomes law, Strama said, it would “overcome the two biggest barriers for my wife and me from putting solar on our roof,” which are capital costs and willingness to invest in a long-term efficiency improvement.

“First, it’s a $25,000 up-front investment. You got to have $25,000 laying around. And the second is, we probably ? especially after redistricting in two years ? won’t stay in our house long enough” to recover the cost in utility savings from putting up solar panels.

The proposal, which Strama said is “absolutely my favorite bill,” would give cities and counties the power to create “emissions management districts” with bonding authority that could offer loans to homeowners for energy-efficiency projects, such as solar panels, solar water heaters or small wind turbines.

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Homeowners who get a loan would pay it back annually at the same time as their property taxes. The debt would be passed on to the next homeowner (who could also benefit from the energy-efficiency measure) if the house were sold.

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California and Colorado have laws on the books that give local governments the authority to loan money for energy-efficiency projects.

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 23rd June 2009

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