Ahhhh, Berkeley. Hippies, bumper stickers, bikes, activists, the guy who made this goofy solar car, the naked guy, and the state of California’s best whack at Chicago deep dish – Zachary’s pizza. I love Berkeley. I love everything about it. It’s a happy place, and it’s about to get happier.
To help with Measure G (an aggressive initiative to get an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050), Tom Bates, mayor, will urge City Council to approve “Sustainable Energy Financing District,” two days from now on Nov 6. I’m excited.
This will be the most progressive city legislation concerning renewable energy in the US. It’s huge. No one has done it before. Berkeley will be fronting money for solar energy systems. They’ll PAY FOR YOUR SYSTEM and charge it back to you on your tax bill for 20 years. If successful, look for numerous other municipalities around the state and the nation to copy it.
I mean, forget compelling… This would make it so undeniably easy to determine if solar is a good financial move. People won’t be able to ignore this. If this legislation passes, it eliminates all variables from a homeowner’s decision to go solar. All a homeowner needs to do is:
1) Call an installer to come out and give them a quote on a solar system.
2) See if the increase in their property tax assessment from the system would be less or more than the power savings.
If it’s less, a homeowner goes ahead and employs the solar power system, no question, no brainer. There’s no risk anymore. Even if you sell the house, the tax liability AND the system transfer with the house! Homeowners need not worry about continuing to pay for a system they aren’t using anymore.
So now, instead of evaluating several risk factors, all you have to do is compare two numbers. If you one is bigger you buy a PV system, if it’s not, you don’t. Very rarely are there investment opportunities where you can pinpoint with such certainty what the return will be.
Some further reading on the measure here:
Last modified: November 4, 2007