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Story: Financing Efficiency and Renewable Energy

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1 comment on May-22-2009   Add a comment   Contributor: cassabel (Apr-3-2009)    Play a Video
Categories: Economic/Financial, Global Warming, Renewable Energy Sources, Sustainable Living

Green finance is an important catalyst to help in changing the way we liveEverybody is talking about retrofitting and green jobs, but where does the money come from?  Here are some tools and model programs to start with.  Please expand on it. 

The original model for financing these types of projects is San Francisco's solar bond.

Since then, Berkely changed it a bit by establishing special tax districts to handle the cost and payments.

Babylon, NY has continued this by treating CO2 as a waste to manage, and is offering to handle it through the town's waste management tax.

A non-profit in Long Island, LI Green, has stepped into the market as a general contractor for efficiency audits and retrofits.  Do they do solar?

Chapel Hill has tried out the revolving loan fund.  Here is their Energy Bank plan (which supports revolving funds for loans, repaid through energy conservation savings)

Private financing combined with public incentives used to pay for work performed by an ESCO (energy service contractor) is probably still the easiest way to go.  Towns may also prefer to support this in some way without directly getting involved with the individual contracts.

Energy Bonds

Distributed through grants and low cost revolving loan fund -  loans are used for renewable energy and efficiency implementation. Federal, state and local grants boost the utility's rebates, increase payoff.

The bonds are exempt from taxation by the state, and any types of renewable energy system and most energy efficiency measures, including energy recovery and combined heat and power systems, are eligible for funding. Projects financed with the bonds will be paid back to the bonding authority using the savings on energy bills.

The following stimulus information is found in the EPA's "local guide to ARRA":

3.11 Clean Renewable Energy Bonds
Tax credit bonds used to fund capital expenditures incurred on one or more qualified renewable energy facilities including wind, geothermal, hydropower, landfill gas, waste-to-energy, and bio-energy. ARRA authorizes an additional $1.6 billion of new CREBs, to be allocated 1/3 to state, local, and tribal governments, 1/3 to public power providers, and 1/3 to electric cooperatives.

3.12 Energy Conservation Bonds
Increases and expands the bond limitation on energy conservation bonds by $2.4 billion for loans and grants for qualified conservation purposes including a wide range of capital expenditures (e.g. reducing energy use in publicly-owned buildings, implementing green community programs, and developing rural renewable energy resources) and public education campaigns.

3.13 Qualified School Construction Bonds
State and local governments may issue up to $22 billion in "qualified school construction bonds" ($11 billion in 2009 and $11 billion in 2010), a new type of tax credit bond for "the construction, rehabilitation, or repair of a public school facility, or for the acquisition of land on which such a facility is to be constructed". Tribal schools receive an additional $400 million of the bonds ($200 million in 2009 and $200 million in 2010). Details about the qualified school construction bond program are not yet available.

Source: DSIRE, google searches, personal communications  
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Comment by: HaroldC (May-22-2009)   
Yes indeed, now a days we face a new struggle and thus we have a tight economy. During a tight economy credit tightens and banks raise interest rates. Rates of foreclosure have gone up, and a lot of people look to payday loans instead of banks for short term credit needs. Homeowners are under more pressure; bargain house hunters could get pick of the litter if financing was available. It isn't easy in any way to get the quick cash you need in a tight economy.

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About contributor cassabel (Jessica Helm)
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