PSE&G’s innovative solar loan program now available to residential customers
Project financing available to install solar energy systems on homes
Latest segment in program to provide $105 million to spur development in renewable energy sources
Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) today announced that it will begin offering its innovative solar loan program to residential customers tomorrow. The company officially launched the residential program after making a compliance filing with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. The program, the first of its kind in the country, will help homeowners install solar energy systems on their homes, enabling them to take an active part in greening their homes and reducing greenhouse gases.
The residential component of the program follows the successful implementation in April of a solar investment program for non-residential customers. A total of $105 million in loans is available to PSE&G’s electric customers. After obtaining agreement from a collaborative stakeholder group on loan documents for the residential customers, PSE&G is now ready to begin accepting residential applications.
“These loans will permit our residential customers to have easier, more affordable access to financing the installation of solar energy systems,” said Ralph LaRossa, president and COO of PSE&G. “This residential loan program will further spur investment in solar power in New Jersey and help meet the state’s goal of having 20 percent of the state’s energy needs generated from renewable sources by 2020.”
Under the new program, residential electric customers in single family homes may qualify for these loans to borrow 40 to 60 percent of the total cost of a solar installation project, depending upon the efficiency of the solar system. PSE&G would provide the loans directly to customers. The remainder of the project cost is funded by the customer, who may also take advantage of other financial incentives that may be available such as the federal tax credit.
Financing to support the development of up to 6 megawatts of solar power in the residential program is available on a first come, first served basis during the next two years. The loans would be paid off using solar credits that are created from the solar energy their system produces. The credits, known as Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs), are valued at a minimum price of $475 or at market value, whichever is higher, for purposes of loan repayment.
PSE&G first announced its solar loan program this April when it began financing 24 megawatts of solar energy systems to business, municipal, non-profit and multi-family customers and is already showing early success. The residential component provides an additional 6 megawatts of solar systems into the marketplace, specifically for homeowners.
“The program initially offered to our non-residential customers has already proved very successful, with applications received for nearly half the megawatts available under the plan,” said Alfredo Z. Matos, PSE&G’s vice president for renewables and energy solutions.
“We anticipate the residential segment of the plan to be equally popular,” Matos said. “Customers love the idea of repaying the loan with solar credits generated by their solar systems in lieu of cash repayments. By installing solar electric systems on their homes, residential customers will be actively participating in the fight against global warming and reducing their utility electric bill. Solar power is a clean and now an affordable renewable source of energy.
“We have received hundreds of inquiries from homeowners interested in participating in the residential segment when we announced the initial offering in April,” Matos said. “This clearly demonstrates society’s interest in solar systems. When you couple that with a good loan program that helps transition the solar market into a fully competitive market, we all win.”
PSE&G anticipates that about 900 residential applicants can be covered by the 6 megawatts of loans available to residential customers.
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