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San Francisco Proposes Subsidy for Solar!

Avatar for Dave Llorens
Published on 12/11/2007 in
Updated 12/11/2007
Solar San Francisco


The plan is to be announced today from city officials. It’s a proposed city based subsidy of $3000 – $5000 per residence, and double that for businesses. Also proposed are financing programs at solid rates that would remove one of the biggest hindrances to solar, up front cash (although not usually a huge problem in San Francisco as most home owners have $50,000 lying around).

There is not typically a lot a local government action on solar, it’s been statewide. But Berkeley is starting a program funding solar projects through taxes, and Oakland will be partnering with San Francisco State’s CS department (more on that coming this week) to automatically calculate solar’s financial gain on a house by house basis. There is a trend of this local involvement, which is good, because each city is different.

The target start date of the program is July 1st, and end of next year for the loan program. Here is the original article in SF Gate.

The comments on the article are telling. They show many of the common misunderstandings about solar, such as people mocking the idea of installing solar in such a cloudy place, and others doing simple incomplete math to disprove cost effectiveness. The best comment is this:

“Yes,Yes, Yes!!!!! This is great! I installed solar panels on my home in the mission 6 years ago and have been thrilled. My monthly PGE bill is about $5.00 to be connected to the grid and at the end of the year my true-up bill is under $20.00. This means, effectively I am self sufficient for my electricity needs. As for sunshine — photovoltaic panels are actually more effective in cooler climates than extremely hot ones. At some time or another nearly all of us has gotten a sunburn when outdoors on a cloudy day. That’s because the UV rays go right through the clouds and can both burn your skin AND generate electricity through your solar panels. I admit that installing solar is expensive (though cheaper now than when I did it) but they last forever and when you sell your property you will more than recoup the investment. Besides, standing and watching your electric meter run backwards as you feed electricity into the grid is a huge turn-on! Go Solar!”

Last modified: December 11, 2007

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