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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Council committee approves solar power revolving loans

Anews release issued by Alderman Tony Zielinski:

The Community and Economic Development committee unanimously approved an ordinance today that allows the City of Milwaukee to create the state’s first property assessed solar power revolving loan program to make solar power a more attractive option for homeowners.

Alderman Tony Zielinski, primary sponsor of the ordinance says promoting solar power is critical for environmental reasons as well as job creation. “Encouraging solar power options creates job opportunities for solar panel installers and also helps to increase a need for manufacturing the panels and the jobs related to that process,” Ald. Zielinski said.

“Historically, one of the barriers to installing solar power in homes has been the upfront costs. This loan program reduces that impediment and for as little as a few hundred dollars, a homeowner can create energy efficiency in their home and begin saving money immediately,” Ald. Zielinski said.

Homeowners who take advantage of the loan program have 15 years to repay the installation costs; money they can easily earn in energy savings, Ald. Zielinski notes.

Co-sponsor of the ordinance, Alderman Nik Kovac said “Creating this energy efficiency improvement fund is one way the City of Milwaukee can help its residents increase the efficiency of their own home while simultaneously creating a specific job market within the city.”

“Homeowners are looking for green solutions,” Ald. Terry Witkowski, co-sponsor, said, “and the City of Milwaukee can only stand to benefit by exploring alternatives like the solar power loan program.”

The ordinance will appear before the full Council on Tuesday, March 2 for approval. Residents who would like to learn more about the property assessed solar loan program or access the program manual should contact Andrea Luecke, project manager of the Milwaukee Shines program, at aluecke@milwaukee.gov. For more information about how the City of Milwaukee supports solar energy, click on www.MilwaukeeShines.com.

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