San Diego Homeowners Get More Solar Funding Options

San Diego homeowners wishing to add solar installations to their homes will soon be able to take advantage of a new program allowing them to qualify for project financing and funded through property taxes, called The City of San Diego's Clean Generation Program.

During an information session for solar installers and consumers recently, staff for Mayor Jerry Sanders shared details of this new program, which is set to go live in March of 2010.

Eligible properties include single-family homes or multifamily buildings of four units or less. Program participants must either purchase the equipment in San Diego or hire a solar installer in San Diego, but exceptions can be made.

The interest rates for these loans will be fixed at the current 20-year Treasury note rate plus 245 basis points. Loan sizes will be $5,000-50,000 and will depend on loan-to-value ratios that still have yet to be finalized. Each loan will most likely require an energy audit and will be subject to around $300 in fees, not counting the cost of the audit.

San Diego-based solar installation company Helio Nation's Chief Executive Officer Dave Gersz sees the program as a positive one, both for homeowners and for those involved in the solar industry.

"The Clean Generation Program will allow homeowners who do not qualify for mortgage financing to finance their solar systems through their property taxes," said Gersz. "Consumers and solar installers will both benefit greatly."

Currently, $20 million dollars has been allocated for the program with access to another $40 million dollars.

The administrative duties for the solar financing program were awarded to the Center for Sustainable Energy, which already handles rebates associated with solar projects in San Diego. Funding comes from Renewable Funding, LLC and North American Development Bank will be guaranteeing the purchase of the bonds from Renewable Funding, LLC.

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