Solar Financing 101
Options for financing solar include: solar leases, Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), cash payment and traditional methods of financing, such as home equity loans.
Current solar financing information is now available in this Solar Financing Resources Sheet. This document can be printed on legal size paper.
More information is available by phone – 707-937-1701 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Go Solar Now With a Ygrene PACE Assessment
Mendocino Solar Service is now certified as a Participating Contractor with Ygrene Works. Ygrene Works is a special program to help Californians funds clean energy and water saving improvements using property tax self-assessments. Ygrene PACE assessments are now available to both homeowners and businesses throughout Mendocino County.
PACE–or Property Assessed Clean Energy–offers unique benefits not available from traditional financing. PACE makes it easy for property owners to pay for the installation of energy and water improvements on homes or businesses.
For more information, and to get started on your PACE application, contact Mendocino Solar Service at 707-937-1701.
Unique benefits of PACE include:
- Program exclusively funds energy and water saving upgrades.
- Not based on your credit rating or income.
- No Money Down.
- Does not tie up the equity in your home.
- Pay through your property tax statements.
- Go solar now; No payment until December 2016!
- Payments are tax deductible.
- Local staff available.
- Online applications.
Mendocino Solar Service is also a Participating Contractor with CaliforniaFIRST, another PACE program that covers Mendocino County, and offers some of the same benefits.
The Year 2015 turned out to be a nail-biter for solar energy, right down to the end.
At the start of 2015, nationwide, the solar energy industry and solar supporters faced a grim reality. The popular 30% Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, which had helped to fuel a strong solar market, was set to expire for residential consumers at the end of 2016, and to drop to only 10% for commercial solar installations. Those who had hoped, and planned, to go solar in the future began to feel the (solar) clock was ticking on their energy independence dreams.
In California, the future of Net Metering for on-grid solar energy systems was up in the air as well, as the California Public Utilities Commission was tasked with designing new “Net Metering 2.0” rules to take effect in 2016.
Indeed, the stakes were so high this year, that at some points there was serious consideration that the end was in sight for California’s solar revolution. Oh what a difference a few weeks can make.
Just as holiday shopping was winding up, and 2015 was winding down, solar energy advocates across the U.S. got a holiday surprise; Daniel Gross of Slate Magazine dubbed it “the Solar Industry’s Christmas Miracle.” Thanks to Congress’ last minute tax and spending deal before the holiday break, on December 18 the 30% Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit for both residential and commercial systems was extended through 2019.
And, in California, there was even more reason to be cheerful. It seems the California Public Utilities Commission was listening to the record number of pro-solar messages they received from around the state, including from solar supporters in Mendocino County who responded to various calls to action.
On December 15, the California Pubic Utilities Commission announced a Net Metering 2.0 proposal that, for the most part, rejected the Big Utilities requests for more fees, more barriers to net connection, and less financial compensation for solar energy producers who sell energy to the utilities through home or business on-grid net metering.
With all this good news, it’s still safe to say that the highlight of our month came earlier. On Saturday, December 12, 2015, after 13 days of negotiations held in Paris, France, 196 nations reached an historic agreement to address climate change.
Solar energy–along with other green technology–received an international thumbs up. The message from the agreement: it is hard to overstate the importance of solar energy, and other green technology, in the future health and well being of our planet.
As we write this on New Years Eve 2015, we join other solar advocates across the country who breathe a sigh of relief for these green victories.
With the Solar Investment Tax Credit now extended through 2019, Net Metering in California preserved for future generations of solar consumers, and solar prices at an all time low, the future is bright for clean, green solar energy.
Thank you to those who sent emails, made calls and shared your opinions about the need to protect net metering and the investment tax credit. Thank you to our customers who referred their friends and neighbors interested in solar energy. Thank you to those who considered how they themselves may be able to go solar.
From: December 2015 Mendocino Solar Service E-News.
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Getting Started: 4 Seeds to Sow Now
Perhaps you’ve considered the switch to solar, but you’re wondering how well solar will cover your home’s energy needs, what a solar energy system will cost, and how this investment will pay off. Maybe you’re wondering what can be done now, so you are better prepared to go solar, later.
Solar is a lot like gardening. Namely: there are some specific, helpful steps to be taken now to better prepare your home or business to reap the benefit of going solar in the future. We think of these as seeds that need to be sown well, for best results. Read more about 4 seeds to sow now, for solar later.
Reprinted from Fort Bragg Advocate and Mendocino Beacon, Fall 2014 Home and Garden Issue
By Bruce Erickson, General Manager, Mendocino Solar Service
Twenty years ago, when Mendocino Solar Service opened our doors, the world of residential solar energy was quite different. Prices were high, options were few, and solar powered homes were mostly “off grid”.
Today’s homeowners considering converting to solar energy enjoy increased affordability, better equipment options, and more financing opportunities. What are the benefits of this opportunity? The ability to cost-effectively convert an abundant local resource (sunshine) into energy and money, right on your roof! Seamless integration, automatic operation, long life with virtually no maintenance, protection from electric rate increases, and increased property value are some of the benefits of the solar revolution.
Read more in our PDF.
Federal Investment Tax Credit
Under a tax credit program recently renewed through the end of 2019, customers who install a new home solar system receive a 30% Federal Tax Credit. There is no upper limit on the credit (the more you invest in your system, the bigger the credit). Tax credits are also available for businesses.
Learn more on the Energy Star website.
California Solar Initiative (CSI) is the rebate program for existing homes wanting to install solar electric systems. The CA Public Utility Commission (PUC) oversees the CSI program.
Go Solar California is a campaign of the California Energy Commission and the Public Utilities commission to encourage the adoption of solar in CA.
New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP) is the rebate program for new construction of homes that will install solar. There are specific requirements needed to be eligible for the rebate.
Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) offers information for cutting energy costs, and allows the customer to do a free over the phone or online Energy Use Audit of their home or business.
Database of State Incentives for Renewable and Efficiency (DSIRE) provides directory listing incentives for renewable energy and efficiency state by state.
California Energy Commission provides an online directory compiled by the CEC provides links to solar and other alternative energy resources.
HomePower Magazine is a hands on journal of home made power with articles about people living on & off grid, how to resources on solar, wind, and other renewable technologies.
Some Good Introductory Articles
Jim Deering (JD) of Artistic Building Company is a HERS (Home Energy Rating System) energy efficiency analyst. He will come to your home and do an energy efficiency test. License #691099
Nor Cal Solar
Celebrating its 30th year as an advocacy and education group dedicated to accelerating the use of solar energy. Publishes yearly the Solar Energy Resource Guide, which offers information on all things solar and an extensive resource list.
PO Box 3008 Berkeley, CA 94603. (510) 869-2759.
National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL)
U.S. Department of Energy sponsored lab for cutting edge research and development of renewable energy.
California Solar Energy Industries Association
CALSEIA is a trade association representing solar photovoltaic and solar thermal contractors, installers, manufacturers, distributors, consultants, engineers, and designers.
Environmental Protection Agency – Power Profiler
The Power Profiler will determine your power grid region based on your ZIP code and electric utility, compare the fuel mix and air emissions rates of the electricity in your region to the national average and determine the air emissions impacts of electricity use in your home or business.
Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)
SEIA is the national trade association in the United States, representing companies doing research, manufacturing, distributing, financing, building and installing solar projects domestically and abroad.
American Solar Energy Society (ASES)
ASES is the nation’s leading association of solar professionals and advocates. Since 1954, ASES has advanced education, research and policy development towards a sustainable energy economy.
Solar Electric Initiative in Sierra Leone, West Africa
This concerned group brings rural solar electrification to an impoverished country. This project is a program of the Friends of Sierra Leone non-profit, an association of Peace Corps volunteers and country nationals. Co-owner Maggie Watson served in the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone. http://www.fosalone.org/projects.php#SEI Or contact Leslie McKeon – firstname.lastname@example.org
ALL Power Labs in Berkeley, CA
This organization that has perfected small scale biomass gasification. Their Power Pallet can be used in off grid or back up applications and runs a generator off of wood chips or other bio mass. http://gekgasifier.com/
Green America Come Together
We appreciate this group’s useful guide to use when shopping to make choices that benefit people and the planet. http://www.greenamerica.org/