Zero-down home improvement program could reduce bills

Energy- and water-related building improvements that save money in the long run could be available early next year under a zero-down San Francisco financing program.

Solar panels, insulation, water-saving bathroom fixtures, and energy-efficient heaters and boilers are among the list of improvements that could be purchased and installed in residential, commercial or industrial buildings under the San Francisco Sustainable Financing Program.

The program allows The City to lend up to $50,000 for improvements from clean-energy financing firm Renewable Funding to a property owner, who would have up to 20 years to repay the money through property taxes.

“It simply doesn’t cost you any money out of pocket,” Mayor Gavin Newsom said Monday.

Up to $150 million could be available, and the program is expected to launch in February or March.

“If people are interested in saving money, this is a pretty good program,” Newsom said.

The program has been supported by the Board of Supervisors, which must provide final approval.

Newsom said the program will help replace GoSolarSF.

jupton@sfexaminer.com

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