City Financing is Spurring Solar Growth

Municipal financing gives homeowners the ability to install solar panels while defraying the large initial investment. The system is creating a solar boom throughout California.
March 17, 2009, 8am PDT | Tim Halbur
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"The idea of public financing for home solar systems began two years ago in Berkeley. While it took months to untangle the legislative knots at the state level and get banks lined up to back the project, the concept took on a life of it own.

Cisco DeVries, who developed the program for Berkeley but has since moved on to a company that administers and finances similar programs for many towns, said: "I've never been part of something like this where the power of an idea has grabbed so many people so quickly. It is viral."

In California, about a half-dozen cities including San Francisco and San Diego are already committed to their own solar programs. And outside of California, at least a half-dozen states, including Arizona, Texas and Virginia, have introduced bills to allow municipal financing. Colorado has already passed a version of the law, and the City of Boulder is on the verge of beginning a program."

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Published on Saturday, March 14, 2009 in The New York Times
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