Tuesday, May 19, 2009

From our brilliant leaders in California.

Please ... oh ... please - do not let a vein pop in my neck.

I actually ran across this concept back in February. But, it was so convoluted - I couldn't figure out how it actually worked. Truthfully, I got distracted by some of the solar companies trying to get people to "finance" solar panels. At a low low interest rate of course. I would give you a link, but apparently those companies have gone out of business. At least my bookmarked links are now broken.

The distracting thing was - no one was giving out credit at the time. And even so, I didn't think too many people at the time had the appetite to pull what was essentially a HELOC to get solar. When the electric company for now is still piping juice to your house. For now.

Never fear great earth warrior! The government came up with a scheme to let them (the government) give you a loan that you can pay over 20 years.

This is so fantastic! Wait for it. This is how The City of Berkley gets you all excited about this program.

* There is relatively little up-front cost to the property owner.

* The cost for the solar system is paid for through a special tax on the property, and is spread over 20 years.

* The financing costs are comparable to a traditional equity line or mortgage.

* Since the solar system stays with the property, so does the tax obligation—if the property is transferred or sold, the new owners will pay the remaining tax obligation.

Did you get that last one? They put a lien on your house making it virtually impossible to sell it. Why would I buy a house with a 20,000 lien, when I could buy one with no encumbrances?

More interestingly, to get this amazing deal, you have to go through a company called CityFIRST. Which as far as I can tell dropped off the planet last year.

How are we going to pay for this you ask? Through kick-backs and corruption! I mean.. bonds. From the sfgate.

"A property owner would hire a city-approved solar installer, who would determine the best solar system for the property, depending on energy use. Most residential solar panel systems in the city cost from $15,000 to $20,000.

The city would pay the contractor for the system and its installation, minus any applicable state and federal rebates, and would add an assessment to the property owner's tax bill to pay for the system.

The extra tax would include administrative fees and interest, which would be lower than what the property owner could obtain on his own, because the city would secure low-interest bonds and loans, officials say. "

If none of this hasn't made you die laughing - go to this site where they suggest putting the panels on your credit card. Which I'm guessing - if you have an open limit of 20 grand, you don't need to put them on your amex. If amex is even keeping open your nice plushy limit.

Is this where all the green jobs are coming from? Because I don't see too many people jumping on board.

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