Monday, September 15, 2008

Berkeley Solar Installation Plan Goes to Council

By Chris Thompson
Mon, Sep 15, 2008 at 7:55 AM

The Berkeley City Council is about to vote on a truly clever and creative plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, one we've been hyping for some two years now. Basically, the city would pay to install solar panels on your house, borrowing the construction cost on your behalf and exploiting its capacity to get a lower interest rate than you can. You then pay the city back over twenty years, at a rate of roughly $180 a month. That may look like a lot of money, but as the Chronicle says, the payment schedule is locked in place forever, safeguarding you from rising electricity costs. At some point, you will be making money, as the average electricity bill will be less than the loan repayments. It's a truly nifty idea, and we hope the city can pull it off.

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