Columbia Water & Light offers electric customers low-interest loans for photovoltaic systems and solar water heaters. Download a loan application to apply for a solar loan. You can fill out the loan application on your computer, but you must print and sign it.
Items Eligible for a Loan
- Solar water heaters that provide at least 50 percent of water heating costs are eligible.
- Solar systems that utilize an active solar heat collector are eligible.
- Pool solar water heaters are NOT eligible.
The limit on the solar energy loan is $15,000 for residential and $30,000 for commercial customers. There are no prepayment penalties. You can select your terms and interest rate by determining the length of your loan.
- Up to 3 years: 1%
- 4 to 5 years: 3%
- 6 to 10 years: 5%
Solar Loan Requirements
- Be a Columbia Water & Light electric customer.
- Be a property owner. A customer who owns a multi-family residential dwelling or leases a commercial building can contact Columbia Water & Light to see if the building would qualify for a solar energy loan.
- Have a deed of trust.
- Have a good payment history with the utility and be current with property tax payments.
Net Metering Requirements
Meet all interconnection, net metering and rebate requirements, as stated in the opens in a new windowColumbia Water & Light Interconnection and Net Metering Agreement.
Insulation level verification may be made by Utility Services staff or one of our Certified Home Performance Contractors. All residential customers must meet the following minimum insulation requirements:
- Attic insulation: R-50 required
- Floor insulation over unconditioned space: R-19 required
- Crawl space walls OR floors above crawl space: R-10 required with vapor barrier covering the ground (only one of these items is required)
- Duct insulation: R-13 required in unheated areas, and
- Rim joist insulation: R-13 required.
Commercial customers’ structures must submit engineering stamped drawings of the building. These will be reviewed by Columbia Water & Light and Building & Site Development’s staff and will assess additional energy efficiency potential, compliance with code and structural integrity.
Solar System Requirements
- Photovoltaic panels must come with a 25-year or greater manufacturer’s warranty. All grid-tie, sine-wave inverters must come with a minimum 10-year manufacturer’s warranty.
- Provide paid receipts for the system and a copy of the final electrical code permit must be submitted at your final loan/rebate inspection. The receipt must list the model numbers for the installed equipment. If there is incomplete or incorrect information submitted, customers will have 30 days to provide the correct information or risk losing their place in the loan/rebate funding process.
- A copy of insurance certificate is required for systems rated over 10 kilowatts.
Loan Participation Steps
- All solar heating projects must be permitted and approved by the opens in a new windowCity of Columbia Building and Site Development division of the Community Development Department.
- Rebates applications must be approved by Columbia Water & Light before the solar water heater is installed.
- Columbia Water & Light will inspect the installed equipment and make sure it meets all the program’s guidelines before the loan/rebate is finalized.
- Paid receipts for the system and a copy of the final electrical code permit must be submitted at your final loan/rebate inspection. The receipt must list the model numbers for the installed equipment.
- All systems must be OG certified by the SRCC.
Solar Energy Loans do not subordinate to other loans you have on your property. If you refinance your current home loan or sell your house, you will be required to pay off the Solar Energy Loan. Requesting subordination of your Solar Energy Loan generally takes at least two months. If you are refinancing your mortgage for a lower interest rate or shorter loan term, in order to maintain ownership of the home or borrow more money for an improvement project, you could be eligible for subordination. Please contact us by email at email@example.com or by calling 573-874-7325 if you have any questions about subordination.