As with many long-term investments, the upfront cost of implementation is one of solar power’s biggest challenges. Many companies offer assistance to energy consumers, but the latest is a joint effort to get photovoltaics (PVs) on homes.
PSEG Long Island, a subsidiary of energy company Public Service Enterprise Group Inc., recently announced a joint venture with New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to launch two programs intended to help residential customers implement solar PV systems in their homes.
Through the Smart Energy Loans program, PSEG Long Island offers two loan options. Both offer up to $13,000, but customers can qualify for up to $25,000. Repayment periods of 5, 10 or 15 years are available.
Through PSEG Long Island’s other program, On-Bill Recovery, the company offers customers the convenience of repaying the loan on their utility bill.
Dan Eichhorn, vice president of customer services for PSEG Long Island, said these programs demonstrate the company’s commitment to promoting energy-efficiency and alternative energies. Eichhorn said the loans provide affordable options for residential customers seeking to implement solar PV technology.
However, there are some notes for buyers to be aware of. PSEG Long Island reports that it will charge interest. Rates could be as low as 3.49 percent, but it includes the disclaimer that the rate is subject to change.
For repayment, PSEG Long Island also does not allow its customers to exceed the estimated cost savings from the energy upgrades. PSEG Long Island states, with this limitation, the energy savings will pay for the loan payment. However, the argument could also be made that it could mean longer repayment periods, which nets more profit in interest. In other words, while customers pay for the loans in the money they save in energy expenditure, the overall loan payment could be higher, and it could be longer before customers realize actual energy savings.
Regardless, the programs will make installing solar PV systems more feasible in the PSEG Long Island service area, so local contractors that are invested in that market could stand to benefit.
About The Author
Timothy Johnson is the former digital editor for ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine.