Friday, July 29, 2011

Milwaukee Shining a Light on Solar

Milwaukee Shines
Last night, I went to the press conference in Milwaukee that announced the Milwaukee Shines Solar Financing program.  It was well attended by the mayor, city officials, and homeowners interested in participating in this new initiative.  Milwaukee is one of the 25 Solar America cities designated by the Department of Energy.  Milwaukee's Office of Environmental Sustainability is managing the grant money and publicity through the Milwaukee Shines organization.  After researching various factors that have been barriers to widespread solar adoption, the leadership of Milwaukee Shines decided to work on the upfront financing piece of a solar system that has prevented many homeowners from going solar.

In partnership with Summit Credit Union, city of Milwaukee residents can apply for loans up to $20,000 for solar water heating and solar electric (PV) systems.  All the costs of the solar installation can be built into the loan as long as the work is done by a Focus on Energy Residential Ally solar installer.  Additionally, the first 20 applicants get an additional $1,000 incentive off the cost of the installation.  This is above the 30% federal tax credit and the Focus on Energy incentive ($800 for a 1 panel system, $1200 for a 2 panel system).

Milwaukee is really making a tremendous effort to reshape the residential energy landscape to encourage clean, renewable energy; local jobs; and decreasing reliance on imported energy.

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