Financing Solar Energy

Community Planning and Zoning January 24, 2013 Print Friendly and PDF

The following case study is an example of how public-private partnerships in one town can benefit the environment and community:

City: Pendleton, OR

"Through research and discussions with area citizens, the city discovered that logistical and financial barriers were preventing residents from going solar. The city collaborated with Solar Oregon and the Energy Trust of Oregon to conduct free educational workshops for residents about the basics of going solar.

To help further overcome the financial barrier of going solar, the city launched an innovative loan program. The city borrowed from its Sewer Bond Stabilization Fund to offer 50 zero interest loans at $9,000 each to homeowners participating in Solarize Pendleton. Repayment of the loans coincides with the homeowner’s receipt of their state and federal tax credits. Annual payments of $4,500 the first year and $1,500 the following three years allows residents to simply redirect their solar tax credits to the city as their loan payment. More than 90 applications were received for the loans, so the city held a lottery drawing during the Pendleton Farmer’s Market on Main Street to select those who would receive them.

A standard 2.3kW installation through the program will cost a homeowner approximately $14,000. Between the city loan, Energy Trust of Oregon rebate, and state and federal tax credits, homeowners are looking at out of pocket costs of less than $2,000 with a payback of under five years.”

  • Source: The above FAQ is an excerpt from an article centered on sustainability in the west. It first appeared in the 2012 April/May issue of Western Planner and are reprinted with permission from Western Planner.


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