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State Announces $30 Million Residential Solar Loan Program

BOSTON — Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration announced the final design of a $30 million residential solar loan program to complement the nation-leading solar market in Massachusetts.

The Mass Solar Loan program, designed to make it easier for homeowners to finance solar-electric projects on their homes, will work with banks and credit unions to expand borrowing options through lower-interest-rate loans, while encouraging loans for homeowners with lower incomes or lower credit scores.

“Solar installations provide important economic and environmental benefits to Massachusetts,” said state Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Maeve Bartlett. “The Mass Solar Loan program will provide opportunities for homeowners to control and reduce their energy costs and for local banks and credit unions to offer a new business product.”

The program, which has been in development since early 2014, follows a Department of Energy Resources (DOER) study that demonstrates lifetime net benefits to homeowners 10 times greater for direct solar ownership relative to third-party ownership. Beginning in early 2015, local lenders will be able to sign up to participate in the program, which is scheduled to begin providing loans in the spring of 2015.

“Massachusetts has seen incredible growth in the solar market, with installations in 350 of the Commonwealth’s 351 cities and towns,” said DOER Commissioner Meg Lusardi. “The Mass Solar Loan program will ensure that this growth continues at the local level, increasing opportunities for homeowners to take their energy future into their own hands.”

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