Focus on Energy: Offers Financial Assistance for Renewable Energy Projects
Tim Wirtz / Jennifer Dryburgh
414-225-9522 / 414-225-9535
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
- Cash-Back Rewards, implementation grants and low-interest loans help homeowners and businesses become more energy independent by using renewable energy -
MADISON, Wis. (March 5, 2003) - Focus on Energy, Wisconsin’s energy efficiency and renewable energy initiative, is helping residents and businesses statewide become more energy independent by offering Cash-Back Rewards, implementation grants and low-interest loans to help finance the installation or upgrading of renewable energy systems.
Cash-Back Rewards for Homeowners and Businesses Homeowners can receive Cash-Back Rewards of up to $35,000, or a maximum of 25 percent of the project’s cost, to help them install, expand or repair commercially available solar electric (photovoltaic) and wind turbine systems. Rewards of up to $3,000, or a maximum of 30 percent of the project’s cost, are offered to help homeowners install or expand commercially available solar hot water systems.
Businesses are eligible for Cash-Back Rewards of up to $35,000, or a maximum of 25 percent of the project’s cost, to help defray the cost of installing or expanding commercially available photovoltaic and wind systems or installing, expanding or repairing commercially available, solar water heating and solar space heating systems. Cash-Back Rewards are available for electric projects of 20 kilowatts (kW) or less and thermal renewable systems that produce less than 5,000 therms annually.
“Adding a renewable energy system is one way homeowners and businesses can mitigate the effects of fossil-fuel-based energy use, reduce pollution and lessen America’s dependence on energy from overseas,” said John Ivanko, co-owner of Inn Serendipity Bed and Breakfast in Bowntown, Wis. “Costs of renewable energy systems are coming down, and Cash-Back Rewards and grants from Focus on Energy can reduce installation costs.”
With the help of Cash-Back Rewards from Focus on Energy, Ivanko and his wife Lisa Kivirist installed a photovoltaic system and a wind turbine. Together, the equipment is expected to generate approximately 11,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity each year - approximately 2,000 kWh more than Inn Serendipity’s estimated annual consumption. The surplus electricity will be sold back to the local utility, reducing the amount that must be produced for other users.
Implementation Grants for Businesses
Implementation grants are available to help businesses install, expand or repair larger renewable energy systems (larger than 20 kW or that produce more than 5,000 therms annually). Grants of up to $35,000, or a maximum of 25 percent of the project’s cost, can help businesses install or expand commercially available photovoltaic, wind turbine, solar water heating, solar air heating and bioenergy systems. Grants of up to $70,000, or a maximum of 25 percent of the project’s cost, are available to help businesses install commercially available bioenergy systems that produce electricity and utilize thermal energy.
Focus on Energy also offers low-interest loans to help homeowners finance the installation of solar water heating systems, photovoltaic systems and wind systems on existing, owner-occupied one- and two-family homes. The application and approval process is fast and easy. Homeowners can borrow from $2,500 to $20,000 at an annual percentage rate of 1.9. Loan terms vary from three to ten years. No down payment is required, there is no application fee and no points are assessed at closing.
Homeowners and Businesses Statewide Are Eligible The rewards, grants and loans are available to individuals, businesses, farms and organizations located in areas served by electric utilities participating in the Focus on Energy program. Homes and facilities that are “off the grid” (not connected to the local electric system) also are eligible, provided they are located within the service territory of a participating utility.
About the Focus on Energy Renewable Energy Program
Focus on Energy is a public-private partnership that provides energy efficiency and renewable energy information and services to the state's energy utility customers. Focus on Energy's Renewable Energy program seeks to raise awareness, provide training and financing, enhance marketing, promote technical assistance and support the installation of renewable energy technologies across Wisconsin. Full program details and applications are available by calling 800-762-7077 or visiting www.focusonenergy.com.