Government-Funded Solar Loans Open to Energy Shortage
Virgin Islanders feeling the pain of high energy costs can enroll in a new program offering government loans repaid through solar energy savings.
Administered by the Virgin Islands Office of Energy, the Solar+ Financing Pilot Program provides low-interest loans of up to $30,000 to homeowners so they can install solar power systems and battery storage, Office of Energy Director Kyle Fleming said in a written statement.
The loans will be repaid from savings made on their electricity bills by the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority, Fleming said.
Funding for the pilot program is limited and loans will be made to a limited number of applicants based on their energy load.
The local program launched by Governor Albert Bryan Jr. aligns with promoting renewable energy in Washington, DC, he said.
“Federal government support for renewable energy has grown exponentially since the announcement of the Inflation Recovery Act of 2022, which includes billions of dollars for clean energy projects,” Fleming wrote in his statement.
The Energy Board will award loans to applicants who will benefit the most from energy savings, and the agency will recommend specifications for solar and battery storage systems that homeowners can bring to a list of suppliers for the facility, Fleming said.
The program will allow homeowners to access no-down payment financing and non-credit-based eligibility to install renewable energy systems and gradually pay off those investments through their monthly utility bill.
This program is exclusively available to full-time USVI owners without an existing solar installation. Selected applicants will receive a 15-year loan with an annual interest rate of 1% to install an approved solar energy system connected to the territory’s electrical grid.
Interested parties can find details and eligibility considerations online at energy.vi.gov. All applications must be submitted online. Office support will also be available to assist applicants. For more information, call the VIEO St. Croix office at 340-713-8436 or the St. Thomas office at 340-714-8436.