Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

Ideas for solar power in home -- - Page 13

register ::  Login Password  :: Lost Password?
Posted by Josh Hill on February 8, 2006, 1:59 pm

Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? There are currently some home energy
loans, but they're complicated, obscure, vary from state to state, and
typically aren't available to the people who would be most likely to
use them.

One way of doing that would be to offer a free home energy analysis
(not "audit," that's a word that scares people!) to every household,
which would yield a list of home improvements and replacement
appliances that would produce a ten-year or better payback. Then the
local power company would front the money for those improvements, with
a monthly payback added to the power bill that would yield, on
average, a net positive cash flow (along with an item that said "you
saved, on average, so and so many dollars this month"). The loan would
be attached to the property -- legally part of the power bill even if
a new owner built a house -- so unless the property was abandoned,
default wouldn't be a problem.


"President Washington, President Lincoln, President Wilson, President Roosevelt
all authorized electronic surveillance on a far broader scale." - Alberto

Posted by Johnny on February 8, 2006, 3:13 pm

Thank you. The lien would be only on the energy equipment, correct?

Posted by Josh Hill on February 8, 2006, 4:31 pm

What I had in mind was more of a lien on the property, in that the
energy company would have a right to tack payments onto the bill for
any structure built at that location until the loan was satisfied.
That would keep sleazy operators from for example conspiring with a
contractor to install energy-saving appliances in a house that was
about to be demolished and sticking the power company with the bill.
It would also allow the power company to offer the loan to people who
would otherwise be bad credit risks, which would include the people
most likely to take advantage of the offer, those for whom a power
bill is a major expense.

It's just an idea I had a few weeks ago -- I haven't thought through
all of the ramifications and it hasn't been vetted by experts.

You could put a lien on the equipment as you suggest, but I'm afraid a
program like that would be open to fraud unless the purchasers' credit
history was vetted, as it would be if they bought a car or major
appliance on credit. I assume that a bank or finance company loses a
significant amount of its investment if it has to repossess and sell a
used asset at auction, and this would be doubly so in the case of
things like insulation and caulking, which can't be resold and may be
more expensive to remove than to abandon, or efficient heating systems
which are to some extent customized and required a lot of effort
install or demolish. That's one of the problems with current energy
loans. For example, my state offers them, and I suggested one to
someone I know, but while she's responsible and has never defaulted on
a loan she's maxed out and so wouldn't be accepted by the program even
though the efficiency upgrades would yield a positive cash flow.

Another possibility I've seen discussed is allowing people to
refinance their mortgages to include the value added by energy-saving


"President Washington, President Lincoln, President Wilson, President Roosevelt
all authorized electronic surveillance on a far broader scale." - Alberto

Posted by ghostwriter on February 8, 2006, 8:05 pm
 Interesting,  large scale energy investments have always been included
in the value of a property during an appraisal (PV panel for instance).
I assume that solar thermal installation would also give a boost to a
value. But the smaller stuff is harder to quantify.

 I imagine that the gas and electical budget might start to become a
factor with a positive or negative adjustment based on the % difference
from the average of similar sized and located homes.  A home with a
$50 dollar combined gas and electric budget and a mortgage payment of
$00 has a monthly outlay of $50. The same home after impovements may
have a $00 new combined budget, that $0/month is worth about $000
assuming 30 years at 7.5%.  It makes sense to include that 7K in an
updated value of the home. By the same token a poorly built home with a
$00 combined budget would see the retail value fall that same 7K
compared to the average.


Posted by ghostwriter on February 8, 2006, 8:34 pm
 I did some more looking around and it seems that the average energy
bill (both natural gas and electric) is about $50 per month.  That has
a value of about $5K at 7.5% for 30years. It seems to me that getting
off grid tends to cost right about that much.  Although the average
homeowner might not be able to handle the restrictions that offgrid


This Thread
Bookmark this thread:
  • Subject
  • Author
  • Date
please rate this thread