The Hawkes Bay Regional Council recently announced an initiative to assist homeowners with funding for solar power system installations. No other council in New Zealand has stepped up to the plate and offered an initiative, and for that, we applaud them.
It's now part of Hawkes Bay Regional Council's Sustainable Homes Programme, which includes financial assistance for insulation, ventilation, domestic water storage and the replacement of septic tanks, double-glazing, solar hot water and solar PV.
Essentially, the Hawkes Bay council is offering cheap finance for an approved solar power system for ratepayers. $1,000 to $20,000 can be borrowed; the interest charged is 6% and the loan is for 10 years, but by increasing their payments the owner can pay off the debt sooner.
All homeowners in the Hawkes Bay can apply for the loan, but to be eligible the potential customers must have a good history of paying their rates on time. Approval may be withheld if there is evidence that the loan will cause hardship. The loan and annual rates are separate but their payments sit on their rates account.
The council states that the rationale behind the decision to fund solar power is in part an effort to help reduce the demand on the grid, and align with the Government's target of 100% renewables by 2020 and carbon neutrality by 2040.
The council identified the safe nature of the solar power industry by pointing out that "the market has professional leadership and regulation to avoid opportunistic exploitation."
Solar installers that are allowed to install a funded solar power system must be a certified SEANZ member and approved by the council. My Solar Quotes solar installers are all certified SEANZ members. Interested in prices for a solar panel installation? Receive 3 free quotes for a solar power system in Hawkes Bay here.
Find out more details about the solar power system loan from the Hawkes Bay Regional Council here>