Santa Fe Clean Energy Fund Reduces Cost of Going Solar
Next year, you may notice something different about your neighborhood. Everywhere you look, brand new solar panels will be popping up on rooftops across Santa Fe!
To ring in 2023, the City of Santa Fe is rolling out its new Clean Energy Fund program. This fund will provide financial assistance to income-qualified households to install solar panels and/or conduct energy efficiency improvements.
The Clean Energy Fund will:
- Make renewable energy options, like solar, more affordable
- Provide low-cost energy efficiency assessments
- Continue to invest in Santa Fe’s local clean energy projects
- Lower Santa Fe’s residential greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
- Enhance climate resiliency across the community
Clean Energy Funds are a burgeoning, cutting-edge solution for overcoming the cost barriers of clean energy. Often called Green Banks, these programs currently exist in 12 states and have invested billions of dollars in renewable energy projects.
(Coalition for Green Capital, 2021 U.S. Green Bank Annual Industry Report, 2021)
Similar programs are rapidly spreading across the nation. Over the past few years, Congress has included various versions of a national clean energy fund in multiple proposals and nearly every 2020 presidential candidate endorsed the idea. The Inflation Reduction Act created a new Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund that will provide grants to mobilize this kind of financing – with an emphasis on projects that benefit low-income and disadvantaged communities. The Santa Fe Clean Energy Fund will work with local lenders such as credit unions to help homeowners access these funds through loans that result in immediate savings from day 1 with no up-front cost.
The Santa Fe Clean Energy Fund will work with local lenders such as credit unions to help homeowners receive loans that result in immediate savings from day 1 with no up-front cost. The idea is that you switch your electricity bill for your solar payment. To help with this, the City of Santa Fe is partnering with the Santa Fe Habitat for Humanity to conduct a Solarize Santa Fe program. This program will bring together hundreds of households to negotiate lower prices with solar companies. These lower prices, combined with better loans, will help all Santa Feans afford solar energy regardless of income.
The Santa Fe Clean Energy Fund and the Solarize Santa Fe Program are expected to launch in early 2023.