Senator Peter Wirth @senatorwirth

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News from the Session: New Renewable Energy Options for Homeowners and Businesses

Dear friends and neighbors,
If you have ever considered a solar, wind or geothermal energy system for your home or business, now may be the perfect time. Last week, Governor Richardson signed a bill I sponsored this past legislative session (SB 647) which allows cities and counties to take maximum advantage of the renewable energy incentives in the President Obama’s stimulus package. Combined with an array of new federal and state tax credits, these systems now make bottom line economic sense.

Here is how this new law works. A local government creates a renewable energy finance district which has the authority to issue bonds to provide financing. For the next couple of years, this will allow districts to access the 0% interest green energy bonds in the federal stimulus plan. Next, homeowners and businesses that elect to participate access funding to purchase their system from the newly created district. They then repay the cost over time through a special assessment on their property which is added to their annual tax bill.

For the participant installing a new solar system, federal and state tax credits totaling 40% of the cost are available in the first year even if you have fully financed the cost of the system. And, PNM pays .087 cents per kilowatt hour electricity generated by the solar system through net metering and gives an additional .13 cents per kilowatt rebate. Here is a spreadsheet applying the various rebates and credits for a $25,000.00 three kilowatt solar system assuming 0% interest loans are available.

Five hundred and twelve homeowners in Boulder, Colorado just signed up for $9.4 million in financing through a similar type district created under Colorado’s new law. We can receive the same benefits here in New Mexico. Call your City Councilors and County Commissioners and ask them to create a renewable energy district here in New Mexico using SB 647.

Very Best Wishes,

Peter

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