From solar roofing to solar pool heating and everything in between, there are many practical uses for solar energy in the home. Depending on how you want to collect and harvest solar energy, costs for equipment can be high at first. The good news is depending on the size and function of your solar system, it will pay for itself in the long run of 5 to 15 years. In addition, solar loan programs are designed to help you get started on your solar project and begin reaping the benefits it will have for the environment and your pocketbook.
A good place to start is the Database for State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE). The DSIRE website lists federal incentives for renewable energy, including the following federal loan programs.
- The Clean Renewables Energy Bonds (CREBs) offers loans for projects involving solar thermal and photovoltaic energy.
- Homeowners looking to finance energy efficient measures, such as renewable energy technologies, in new or existing homes can get assistance through Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEMs).
- Also for solar water heat, solar space heat, and photvoltaics, federal loans are available through the USDA Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program. Loan amounts are up to 50 percent of the price of qualifying projects.
In addition to finding federal incentives, the DSIRE website enables you to look up green building incentives by state. In California, for example, there are Marin’s Best! Energy Incentive Program, the San Diego County Green Building Program, Santa Monica’s Building Permit Fee Waiver for Solar Projects, and Santa Monica’s Expedited Permitting for Green Buildings
Also keep in mind that some utility companies contract with banks or credit unions to offer loans to customers intending to install solar photovoltaic power systems. These loans are typically offered at current market rates. Contact your city or utility company to find out if this is available in your area.
Other Helpful Links:
Articles related to Solar Loans
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- Applying the “Greenhouse Effect” for Heating or Plant Growth
- Solar Lights for the Home
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