Are you a San Francisco resident looking to add a solar hot water heater, photovoltaic panels, or other renewable energy measure to your home? Soon the city might help you pay for it through the new GreenFinanceSF program, which is offering $150 million in lending for water conservation, renewable energy, and energy efficiency projects for both homes and businesses. Mayor Newsom first announced the program in December and just signed the final legislation this week.
Of course, there is a catch: you have to pay the city back through an extra fee that is added on to your property taxes. But the cash doesn’t have to paid back in full for 20 years, and the loan is attached to the property — so if you move, the next resident continues to pay for the solar panels on top of the house.
All property owners that have paid taxes on time for the past three years will be eligible to receive loans of up to $50,000 through the program starting March 1, so start thinking about possible retrofits. Los Angeles and San Diego counties will be the beneficiaries of similar programs starting this summer.