Bond-financing program attaches solar power costs to property, not homeowners
A new state bond program may make solar energy more affordable for residents of Hawaii, according to a recent report by the Honolulu Advertiser.
Similar to initiatives in other states, the financing-bond program would allow homeowners to use loans to install solar water heating systems, photovoltaic systems, wind systems and bio gas systems. The loans would be attached to the property, not the borrower and paid through assessments on their county tax bills.
Homeowners currently have access to state and federal incentives, which would help reduce the cost of a $6,500 to $7,000 solar water heating system to $2,000. Photovoltaic solar systems can cost between $15,000 to $60,000, according to the report.
"We have a problem getting financing for middle-class homeowners for photovoltaic systems," Mark Duda, the president of the Hawaii Solar Energy Association, told the newspaper.
The solar loan program may put a strain on the state's finances. One version of the bill was dropped in the Senate because of concerns about the budget deficit, which may reach $1.2 billion by 2011, according to the report. Duda suggested that loans should be made available to homeowners only, forcing commercial real estate owners to find their own financing.
Hawaii has aims to derive 70 percent of its resources from renewable energy by 2030.