Common Tragedies

Thoughts on Environmental Economics

Leave it to the hippies

Posted by Rich Sweeney on November 9, 2007 reports that Berkeley, California is set to become the first city in the U.S. to allow property owners to pay for solar system installation and energy efficiency improvements as a long-term assessment on their individual property tax bill. As the article reports, “The City’s plan eliminates the two major financial hurdles to solar electric and solar hot water systems—the high upfront cost and the possibility that those costs will not be recovered when the property is sold.”

We’ve talked about the perplexing persistence ‘negative cost’ energy-saving opportunities before on CT. Large upfront costs and risk of transferability are two of the most likely causes. While the details are still being worked out, Berkeley seems to have come up with a clever way to solve these problems.

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