AB 811 provides all California cities and counties with the ability to offer low-cost loans to property owners for Energy Efficiency (EE) projects and solar panels, similar to loans from commercial banks. The intent of the legislation is to not only reduce the cost of energy to the individual consumer, but also reduce the overall consumption of electricity, to reduce the amount of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, as mandated by AB 32 and SB 375.
Basically, if adopted by a city, AB 811:
- provides low interest rate loan (so far at 7% amortized over 20 years) from the City attached to your property that resides within that city’s limits and to be paid every six months through / along with your County property tax payment;
- is earmarked ONLY for and covers MOST energy efficiencies and renewable energies available to the public;
- Requires NO credit check and can pass to new owners of property without future credit checks through title transfer at escrow.
This year Congress passed an economic stimulus package to promote energy efficiency. The American Recover and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 includes several provisions modifying and expanding the scope of the energy efficiency and renewable energy incentives for homeowners. Check out this website, managed by the Tax Incentives Assistance Project, www.energytaxincentives.org for details.
Credits are available for:
* energy improvements to homes, such as windows, insulation, and envelope and duct sealing.
* installing efficient air conditioners and heat pumps; gas or oil furnaces and furnace fans; and gas, oil, or electric heat pump water heaters in new or existing homes.
* qualified solar water heating and photovoltaic systems, small wind and geothermal heat pump systems.
For example, you could receive an incentive of 30% of the cost of eligible measures, with a $1,500 cap on the credit per home.
On-site renewables (solar photovoltaic and hot water systems, small wind systems, and geothermal heat pumps) are now eligible for a tax incentive worth 30% of the total cost, without a cap. (time to go solar!)