October 10, 2008

Berkeley Offers Workshops for Residents Interested in New Solar Financing Plan

By Kristin Bender


workshops for residents interested in new solar financing plan: The city of Berkeley is holding three workshops this month for property owners interested in learning more about a first-of-its- kind city program to help people with the cost of solar installation by tacking the cost onto their property tax bills over a 20-year period.

The workshops for the Berkeley Financing Initiative for Renewable and Solar Technologies program will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m Tuesday at the North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst St.; from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the South Berkeley Senior Center, 2939 Ellis St.; and from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 21 at the West Berkeley Senior Center, 1900 Sixth St.

Last month, the Berkeley City Council approved the Sustainable Energy Financing District. This special tax district will enable property owners to install solar systems because Berkeley would pay all the up-front costs by borrowing a lump sum of money.

The FIRST pilot program initially will fund 40 installations and provide financing of up to $37,500 per installation.

To participate, property owners need to review the city's residential or commercial energy conservation ordinance to make sure their property is in compliance. More information is available at www.cityofberkeley.info/sustainable. Property owners should also get quotes from solar installers and review program requirements for the California Solar Initiative. A list of approved solar installers is listed at www.gosolarcalifornia.ca.gov/csi.

Questions can be e-mailed to [email protected], or by calling the energy and sustainability division at 510-981-7400.

-- Kristin Bender

Originally published by Kristin Bender, Oakland Tribune.

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