Financing

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A number of options exist for financing the  adoption of green technology. Homeowners, in particular, have a range of financing methods available. Some banks offer special loan programs for green technology home improvement. For example, see this “Green Street Lending” program from Umpqua Bank.

http://www.umpquabank.com/greenstreet/

Credit Unions may offer loan programs for home improvements. Also, second mortgages can be a relatively inexpensive way to undertake green improvements to your house.

Property Assessed Clean Energy (Pace) is a program offered in some localities that allows homeowners to pay for renewable energy improvements by bundling them with their future property taxes. Here’s a link to a PACE information website:

http://energycenter.org/policy/property-assessed-clean-energy-pace

A wide range of private financing and leased solar finance options now exist in the solar panel installation market. However, this website advocates that consumers try to purchase their home solar arrays using conventional financing, like a bank or credit union, and buy their system to own, not lease. Then, once you pay off the system, it is you, not a leasing company or finance company, that gets the large residual benefit that comes from years of virtually free power generation. Also, this website recommends that consumers buy panels that use micro-inverter technology, not older string inverters that are generally offered with solar leasing programs. Micro-inverters offer a range of benefits that make them worth the investment. If you want to get the maximum efficiency out of your solar panels over the long term, I believe that micro-inverters offer superior value. Also, if you want to start small and possibly expand your solar system later so that you can charge an electric car or some other future electric technology, then micro-inverters will let you increase your system capacity with the least amount of trouble, eliminating the need for a  large new inverter (the device that converts the panels DC electricity to AC for the home).

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