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Are grants for solar energy available, because loans are not!

by Jennifer

Here is a letter to the Governor of California:
Mr. Governor,
In an ongoing effort to reduce our carbon footprints, employ locally, and leave a better future for our children, Next Generation Solar is providing a resource to "GO GREEN". All though the investment is sound, secure, and environmentally friendly, Southern Californians are experiencing difficulties in finding unsecured personal loans to fund their residential solar projects. Imagine a family with an average electric bill of $350. A family of 5 with 2 incomes pays their electric bill on time every month. The "Smith" family is informed by their utility company that there will be a rate increase. Their new bill on average is now $370. a month. In the "REAL WORLD", $240.($20. a month over 12 mos.) is the difference between new school clothes, having extra food in the house for growing children and/or having enough gas in your vehicle to make it to work. The "Smiths" were looking into solar before their utility rate increase, but are now determined. GREAT! Solar arrays reduce the "Smith" family's carbon footprint, allows employment for displaced construction workers, and decreases their dependency on an institution that can raise their bill at any time. Basically, they have their $240. a year to spend on the economy. Sorry "Smith" family. Yes there are State rebates and Federal tax credits BUT no loans!!! Next Generation Solar's concern (as well as many solar companies) is that the households that would benefit the MOST by going solar will be hindered by lack of financing. PLEASE, Southern Californians are asking for your help. California based banks would profit from loan programs. Californians would be able to spend more and secure their families utility usage. More Californians would be employed and OUR EARTH would stand a better chance. Mr. Governor, as a solar company, we have written enough business to employ at least 25 out of work, receiving unemployment benefits, displaced construction workers, 13 out of work consultants, and a various number of administrative employees. Unfortunately, due to the amount of contracts sitting in our financing bin the 50+ Southern Californians we SHOULD be able to employ has become insignificant. Our customers range from middle class to upper middle class. They are employees of the state, county, and local government. They are teachers, veterans, hospital employees. You know them. You encounter them on a daily basis. Believe me when I tell you, going out to eat on a regular basis is a luxury of the past. We NEED jobs. Next Generation Solar is willing to provide them. We NEED growth in the economy. Next Generation Solar will continue to replenish the pocket books of Californians in order that they MAY contribute. We NEED loan programs for solar. WHO WILL LEND? Californian banks that lend for solar with one digit interest rates, 15-20 yr. loans, and can grasp the concept that Californians are paying their electric bills every month, OH! and that they can benefit from it will be an exciting development for the growth of California. Please, for the future of California, the Earth, and more importantly the families experiencing economic failure, please respond. Many families, not just the ones going solar benefit by the lending process of banks. The banker’s family benefits, the restaurateur’s family benefits, the grocer's family benefits, the family that owns the BMX track where the grocer's son USED to be able to afford to ride benefits. People still want to do the right thing. Please, send me a list, if you can, of banks willing to lend to residential owners for the purpose of going solar. To help I will let you know that lending institutions with solar programs such as Beneficial Bank, Nationwide Mortgage, and First Again have closed their programs or are not accepting any new applications. Credit Unions, such as Addison Avenue only lend up to 30,000 and are almost impossible to qualify with. What a great idea! Unsecured personal loans with low interest rates for Californians going solar. Why didn’t we think of that?

Any suggestions? Grants for companies of renewable energy would allow in-house financing and lower prices.

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