Solar Energy Loans

Solar Energy Loans

solar-panelsColumbia Water & Light offers electric customers low-interest loans for photovoltaic systems and solar water heaters. We also have rebates for both photovoltaic systems and solar water heaters.

Basic Terms

The limit on the Solar Energy Loan is $15,000 for residential and $30,000 for commercial customers. There are no pre-payment penalties. You can select your terms and interest rate by determining the length of your loan.

  • Up to 3 years: 1%
  • 4 to 5 years: 3%
  • 6 to 10 years: 5%

Participation Steps

Download a copy of our Solar Energy Loan application to review the participation steps. You can fill out the form on your computer but you must submit a signed printed copy.

Requirements

  • Loans are for Columbia Water & Light electric customers
  • Recipients must be the property owner*
  • A Deed of Trust is required
  • Owners of the property must have a good payment history with the utility and must be current with property tax payments.
  • All Interconnection, net metering, and rebate requirements must be met.
  • All residential customers must meet the  following minimum insulation requirements:
    • Attic insulation: R-50 required
    • Floor insulation over unconditioned space: R-19 required
    • Crawl space walls OR floors above crawl space: R-10 required with vapor barrier covering the ground (only one of these items is required)
    • Duct insulation: R-13 required in unheated areas
    • Rim joist insulation: R-13 required
  • Insulation level verification may be made by Utility Services staff or one of our Certified Home Performance Contractors.
  • Commercial customers’ structures must submit engineering stamped drawings of the building. These will be reviewed by Columbia Water & Light and Building & Site Development’s staff and will assess additional energy efficiency potential, compliance with code and structural integrity.

*A customer who owns a multi-family residential dwelling or leases a commercial building can contact Columbia Water & Light to see if the building would qualify for a solar energy loan.

Additional Loan Requirements for Photovoltaic Systems

In addition to all General Loan requirements and Interconnection and Net Metering requirements, PV systems receiving loan funds must comply with the following:

  • Photovoltaic panels must come with a 25-year or greater manufacturer’s warranty. All grid-tie, sine-wave inverters must come with a minimum 10-year manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Provide paid receipts for the system and a copy of the final electrical code permit must be submitted at your final loan/rebate inspection. The receipt must list the model numbers for the installed equipment. If there is incomplete or incorrect information submitted customers will have thirty days to provide the correct information or risk losing their place in the loan/rebate funding process.
  • A copy of insurance certificate is required for systems rated over 10 kilowatts.

Additional Requirements for Solar Water Heaters

  • Solar water heaters that provide at leas 50% of water heating costs are eligible. Solar systems must utilize an active solar heat collector.
  • All solar heating projects must be permitted and approved by the Building and Site Development division of the Community Development Department.
  • Rebates applications must be approved by Columbia Water & light before the solar water heater is installed.
  • Pool solar water heaters are not eligible.
    Columbia Water & Light will inspect the installed equipment and make sure it meets all the program’s guidelines before the loan/rebate is finalized.
  • Paid receipts for the system and a copy of the final electrical code permit must be submitted at your final loan/rebate inspection. The receipt must list the model numbers for the installed equipment.
  • All systems must be OG certified by the SRCC.

Subordination

Solar Energy Loans do not subordinate to other loans you have on your property. If you refinance your current home loan or sell your house, you will be required to pay off the Solar Energy Loan. Requesting subordination of your Solar Energy Loan generally takes at least two months. If you are refinancing your mortgage for a lower interest rate, shorter loan term, in order to maintain ownership of the home or borrow more money for an improvement project, you could be eligible for subordination. Please contact us (info@columbiapowerpartners.com or 573-874-7325) if you have any questions about subordination.