Not that Mayor Gavin Newsom is going to let something like a global financial crisis get in the way of one of his pet projects. On Monday, the mayor's office announced a new program to offer residential and commercial loans for solar and other renewable energy projects.
The Clean Energy Loan Program will be privately backed, although there isn't actually a private backer on board yet. The loans will be attached to the home or office building - not the individual taking out the loan - and paid over 20 years as a special tax on the property.
It's an expensive venture, even with federal and local rebates. According to the city's solar energy Web site, a typical residential installation costs about $25,000.
With rebates, that price can be cut in half, and it can be as low as $7,000 for low-income residents - assuming, of course, that there are low-income residents in these hard times who are making a priority out of $7,000 solar panels.