What additional costs can be included in a solar electric system loan?
Up to 45% of a solar PV loan’s proceeds can be used to finance non-solar PV, “mission-aligned project scope” such as batteries, an electric vehicle charger, a heat pump, an entirely new roof using Energy Star rated shingles, and other eligible products and services that generate clean energy, conserve energy, or improve energy efficiency. Included in this 45% limit, other “ancillary costs” can also be financed if: (1) they are necessary for the effective installation and operation of the solar PV system; and (2) they do not exceed a total of $4,000 (which counts towards the 45% limit). Some examples of “ancillary costs” that can be included in the $4,000 limit are: an electric service panel upgrade, tree trimming, roof vent re-routing, and minor roof repairs or roof patching. An example of what cannot be included is a non-standard, specialized support structure such as a solar carport, gazebo, pavilion, etc. For project scope that may exceed the 45% limit, or for batteries-only projects (e.g. adding batteries to a previously installed solar PV system), these may be financed via a green home improvement loan (which would be separate from the solar PV system loan). Please see the graphic below which helps illustrate the 45% limit versus the $4,000 limit.
Can electrical service panel upgrades be included?
Yes, electrical service panel upgrades or other electrical work can be included and can receive up to $4,000 in funding. The exception is a SPAN panel which is on our list of eligible products and services and can therefore be included in the 45% limit (without counting towards the $4,000 limit).
Can roof work be included?
Yes. For minor roof repairs, rafter upgrades, and roof vent re-routing, those costs can be included in the $4,000 limit. For a full roof replacement, this can be included in the 45% limit (without counting towards the $4,000 limit), but the roofing materials must comply with the specifications in our list of eligible products and services (e.g. via Energy Star certification).
What documentation doe sthe credit union need to approve the “mission-aligned project scope” and/or the “ancillary costs?”
The borrower’s purchase/installation contract should include an itemized list of costs for the solar PV work scope versus all other work scope, equipment, etc. It should include sufficient descriptions (e.g. equipment manufacturer and model, description of each task/service, etc.) and be self-explanatory in complying with the requirements described above.