Additional Information

This section includes information and resources on local lending, renewable energy credits, incentives, and rebates.

Solar on Multi-Unit Buildings: Policy and Financing Options to Address Split Incentives

Multi-unit buildings, including apartment complexes and office buildings, are ubiquitous in the U.S. and offer a relatively untapped opportunity for rooftop solar. The costs and benefits of going solar, however, are not always aligned, as building occupants pay the electric bills while the building owner typically pays the costs of energy improvements. This factsheet highlights policy and financing options to address this “split-incentive” problem.

Mt. Pleasant Solar Co-op Fact Sheet

The solar co-op model focuses on educating the community on solar and draws on the skills and resources of its members to advance the porgram’s goals.  Mt. Pleasant was able to develop a successful solar co-op that now has over 200 members from over 70 households. Mt Pleasant Solar Co-op Fact Sheet Click for full Read More »

Innovative Solar PV Financing Methods: Invest In Solar PV through Energy Services Performance Contracting

Performance contracts are a common type of public-private partnership between an energy services company and a local government that result in significant guaranteed energy and cost savings. This week, the North Carolina Solar Center at NC State University and the SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership released Integrating Solar PV into Energy Services Performance Contracts: Options for Local Governments Nationwide (HERE), a resource for local governments interested in both reducing their energy costs and providing a boost to local economic development.

Local Lending For Solar PV: A Guide For Local Governments Seeking To Engage Financial Institutions

Local governments are in a unique position to engage local lending institutions on the opportunities presented by a growing solar market. Governments can offer education and resources on solar PV technology and best practices for building financial models. Additionally, governments can facilitate programs that connect these institutions to customers in the community through programs such as Solarize. This guide aims to assist local governments in engaging lending institutions on financing residential and small commercial solar PV projects to increase the adoption of solar power in their communities.

Case Study: What is the Value of Solar? Austin, TX

The What is the Value of Solar?: Austin, Texas case study examines the Value of Solar tariff offered to Austin Energy’s residential solar customers in place of net metering. The Value of Solar tariff is an effort to move beyond net metering and more accurately measure the tangible and intangible benefits that solar energy systems Read More »

Regional Solar Podcast: Renewable Energy Certificates

A Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) is a tradable certificate representing the generation of one megawatt hour of electricity from a renewable energy source. Rich Deming, Senior partner at Calor Energy and Walter Putnam, partner at Shift Equity, joined the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) to discuss how local governments can utilize RECs as easily as Read More »

Solar Accounting: Measuring the Costs and Benefits of Going Solar

Here we provide a budget and finance officers at the local level with a brief primer on conducting cost-benefit analyses to assess the economic viability of municipal solar energy systems. Discussion centers on how to estimate system output and to properly value this output, the various incentives local governments can take advantage of and how the value of these incentives should be calculated, and the impact that different ownership models can have on project economics. This publication is designed to help local officials determine if investing in solar is a financially beneficial decision.

To read this document, click here.

Solar America Cities Podcast: Milwaukee Shines

Amy Heart, the Solar Program Manager with Milwaukee Shines, the city of Milwaukee’s solar program, discusses the program, its successes, challenges, and lessons learned that have come from Milwaukee’s experiences with solar since being designated as one of the Department of Energy’s 25 Solar America Cities in 2008.

To listen to this podcast, click here.

Solar America Cities Podcast: Solar in San Antonio

Liza Meyer, a Special Projects Manager with the City of San Antonio, discusses San Antonio’s work as one of the Department of Energy’s 25 Solar America Cities. San Antonio was named as a Solar America City in 2008 and the city worked with local non-profits to increase financing options for homeowners, as well as with CPS Energy, its municipal utility, on large scale solar installations. In 2011, San Antonio and its project partners were named as one of 22 teams awarded under DOE’s Rooftop Solar Challenge, a program for local and regional teams to drive significant improvements in market conditions for rooftop solar photovoltaics. This podcast explores the city’s successes, challenges, and lessons learned. To listen to this podcast, click here.