From an article by Tom Content in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
A solar financing program for city residents will be unveiled Thursday at a community kickoff event at South Shore Park Pavilion.
Under the new program, Milwaukee Shines will partner with Summit Credit Union to help homeowners finance the installation costs for solar panels.
The city says a study of solar installers found financing options were a key barrier to homeowners installing panels.
“We have seen the number of solar installations increase over the past two years since our solar program began, but financing the installation can still be a challenge for homeowners,” said Amy Heart, who manages the Milwaukee Shines solar program.
Solar installers and organizers of the city’s solar program and the city energy efficiency program will join Mayor Tom Barrett and Ald. Tony Zielinski at the kickoff event, from 4 to 6 p.m.
Heart said she hoped that Summit Credit Union’s involvement in the program would help spur a long-term change in how local lenders view investment in renewable energy.
The first 20 participants in the loan program will receive $1,000 off the cost of the solar installation. The financing arrangement will supplement incentives that homeowners and owners of multifamily dwellings with up to three units can receive, Heart said.
The loans will be available for solar electric or hot water systems. Homeowners can also take advantage of a 30% federal tax credit and a Focus on Energy incentive, Heart said.
“Between a homeowner being interested in solar and moving forward, it can be about three years,” she said. “This will help a lot of installers and site assessors working in the area, and help us add solar to folks’ homes around the area.”