The city of Berkeley, Calif. is pioneering a program to help homeowners finance solar systems through property tax assessments. How’s that working out?

The first tranche of funds sold out in nine minutes.

And on Friday, the first two checks were handed out to proud owners of new solar systems. Meanwhile, we were able to tweak the federal tax code to ensure that program participants can still use the federal investment tax credit (thanks, Speaker Pelosi). And we are working with partners in eight states and counting to get enabling legislation on the books to allow more cities to replicate the model.

Note that this program can be set up to fund more than just solar electric.  Solar hot-water and energy-efficiency upgrades can and should be included as well.

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