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Financing for Solar Energy

sunshot - solar permit

SunShot reports aim to boost SoCal rooftop solar         

A new resource guide that outlines various options available for consumers to finance solar energy systems on homes and businesses in Southern California is now available from CCSE.

The “Southern California Solar Finance Guide” provides a reference for homeowners, commercial property owners, solar contractors and government agencies. It was developed by CCSE as part of the SunShot Initiative Southern California Rooftop Solar Challenge, a Department of Energy (DOE) program to stimulate adoption of solar energy by reducing barriers and lowering installation costs.

The guide lists more than 30 programs in the region that offer loans and financial assistance for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and other comprehensive upgrades including energy efficiency, water efficiency and other renewable clean energy technologies. It provides information on the minimum and maximum amount of loans a consumer can receive, the interest rates, loan terms and contact information.

“The guide makes it easier for everyone who is interested in installing solar, from individuals to large corporations, to evaluate the benefits and differences between solar financing opportunities,” said Tamara Gishri, CCSE’s regional SunShot program manager. “California leads the nation in rooftop solar installations, but achieving the state’s goals for renewable energy will require even greater solar adoption, and the financing of installations remains a major barrier.”

Among the many financing options for solar detailed in the guide are leases and power purchase agreements, secured and unsecured loans, property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing and on-bill utility financing. The rates and terms of financing options vary greatly, with most requiring energy audits to confirm energy savings.

CCSE also recently released other SunShot Initiative reports including a PACE program guide and reports that outline current effective processes by municipalities, jurisdictions and utilities in Southern California related to solar project permitting and interconnection to the electrical grid.

The SunShot Initiative is a collaborative nationwide program to make solar energy costs competitive with other forms of energy by 2020. Twenty-two teams nationwide are examining the non-hardware costs of PV systems, such as permitting, financing, zoning and interconnection, which account for up to 40 percent of a system’s total cost, according to the DOE.