Homeowners, get ready. Google is about to help 3,000 of you go solar.
At the Renewable Energy Finance Forum this week in San Francisco, Google’s director of green business operations, Rick Needham, announced that the company is investing $75 million into a fund to help homeowners install home solar energy systems.
The homeowner will then pay a monthly fee for the electricity that the system produces. That electricity is typically less expensive than conventional power.
You’ll get clean and green sustainable power, and you’ll save money on your utility bill.
To get a price breakdown on solar in your area, click here.
You’ll also become part of the solution to the nation’s energy challenge. PV systems are at their most efficient during peak usage hours, providing power when the electrical grid needs it most.
Adding residential solar lessens the need to build conventional power plants that get their energy from fossil fuel, which produce excessive levels of toxic emissions and are built with taxpayer money.
Adding a PV system will also immediately raise your home’s resale value, too, an important distinction in a down-turned housing market. A recent National Bureau of Economic Research study found that PV systems add up to 4 percent to the value of a home. This data confirms another study conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory earlier this year.
Google’s program will help local economies as well. While major solar providers like Sungevity, SunRun, SolarCity, and SunLogic already offer leasing options, Google’s new fund will be specifically designed to help smaller, local installers offer financing plans.
According to Google, there are about 1,400 solar contractors operating in the United States. The new program can add a substantial number of green jobs.
“It’s an opportunity to significantly expand the market,” Needham said.
While the expanding solar industry has already resulted in technological advancements that have greatly reduced the costs of PV systems, the market is becoming more competitive. The Google fund allows local installers to offer financing without having to raise their own capital.
Google is partnering with Clean Power Finance investment firm to manage the funding. Clean Power Finance provides a link between those who want to invest in green energy and the companies that provide it. Solar installers simply sign up with Clean Power Finance to gain access to the funding application and process.
Google has a reputation for green policies. In 2007, the Internet search giant installed a 1.6 megawatt solar panel system at their headquarters in Mountain View, California. The company has tried to install renewable energy systems at their offices worldwide, but in some instances has been thwarted by governmental regulations.
Google sees green investments as a way to offset their carbon footprint. 3,000 residential PV systems will go a long way towards meeting that goal.