Last week, we took a look at San Diego’s revolutionary solar plan, which will allow residents to pay for solar panels through property tax bills over a 20 year period. But don’t pack your bags for Southern California just yet. Annapolis, MD has a similar plan , dubbed the Annapolis (EZ) Energy Zone Program.
Like the San Diego plan, the EZ Program offers tax-exempt, low-interest rate loans courtesy of th Chamber of Commerce Foundation to city residents who buy energy efficient equipment (i.e. solar panels, energy-efficient HVAC systems, high-efficiency windows). The loans are paid back through resident’ property tax bills. When a property is sold, the new homeowners take on the loan–so when you move, you don’t have to keep paying for your old home’s solar panels. The Maryland Energy Administration will even conduct energy efficiency audits and give homeowners a list of certified contractors who can install energy-efficiency equipment.
In the past, Annapolis homeowners have been discouraged by solar panels’ 10 year payback period. But the new program is much more attractive since costs can be transferred between homeowners. Maryland’s program begins next November. Don’t be surprised if you see similar municpial solar financing programs in even more cities between now and then.
Photo CC Licensed by Flickr User fmorgen