Saturday, February 14, 2009

Stimulus Package to Boost Municipal Solar Financing Programs

Market Watch/February 14, 2009

The economic stimulus package just passed by Congress includes strong support for an innovative new solar and energy efficiency financing program that allows property owners to install solar and energy efficiency projects and pay for them over 20 years through a line item on their property tax bills.

This new program overcomes the principal obstacle that has hindered widespread adoption of solar and energy efficiency projects by homeowners and small businesses – the daunting upfront cost. Congress amended the federal tax code to ensure that participants in this program can take full advantage of the 30% solar energy tax credit and authorized the use of Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds to fund the program.

Renewable Funding is the nations’ leader in providing financing and administration for this new solar and energy efficiency program, which is known as CityFIRST – Financing Initiative for Renewable and Solar Technology. Over a dozen cities are working on CityFIRST programs in California and Colorado and 10 additional states are working on legislation to authorize similar programs.

A UC Berkeley study published last month in Environment Magazine found the potential for $280 billion in financing for CityFIRST-type programs if expanded across the country.

“The CityFIRST program is revolutionizing solar and energy efficiency financing by making it as easy to go solar as it is to pay your utility bill,” said Renewable Funding Chairman Stephen Compagni Portis. “We are excited that Congress recognized that the CityFIRST program can create new green jobs and convert our country to clean energy.”

Renewable Funding is available to assist cities and states with launching the CityFIRST program, including understanding the details of the stimulus package, local laws and regulations, and developing a process for quick implementation. For more information call Renewable Funding at 510-451-7900.

See the original article here

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