The New Year Means New Incentives For Renewable Energy Projects

Zero-interest loans and increased Cash-Back Rewards help homeowners and businesses become more energy independent by using renewable energy

MADISON, Wis. (January 17, 2005) - Focus on Energy, Wisconsin's energy efficiency and renewable energy initiative, is helping residents and businesses statewide become more energy independent in 2005 and beyond. The Renewable Energy Program is offering zero-interest loans and increased Cash-Back Rewards to help finance the installation of renewable energy systems.

"As energy prices continue to rise and as the cost of renewable energy systems goes down, it makes sense for Focus on Energy to help prospective system owners plan, finance and install renewable energy systems," said Don Wichert, program director for Focus on Energy's Renewable Energy program. "It's our goal to increase the number of Wisconsin residents and businesses using renewable energy, in turn reducing their utility bills and keeping our air and water clean for future generations."

Focus on Energy's Renewable Energy Program wants residents to share in its commitment to building a better future by increasing the number of renewable energy systems and jobs across Wisconsin. To help realize this future, Focus on Energy will share the cost of installing solar, wind, and bioenergy systems with the following financial incentives.

Zero-Interest Loans

Easy to obtain zero-interest loans are now available from Focus on Energy to help homeowners finance the installation of solar water heating systems, solar electric systems and wind systems on existing, owner-occupied one- and two-family homes; and the application and approval process is fast and easy. Homeowners can borrow from $2,500 to $20,000 through June 30, 2005; however, funds are limited and will be available on a first-come first-serve basis. No down payment is required, there is no application fee and no points are assessed at closing. Loan terms vary from three to ten years.

Increased Cash-Back Rewards for Homeowners and Businesses

To increase the use of solar energy in Wisconsin, Focus on Energy's Renewable Energy Program is offering a special Cash-Back Reward for the installation of solar electric systems on new buildings and new Wisconsin ENERGY STAR homes. This special Cash-Back reward is designed to cover up to 50 percent of the system's cost to a $15,000 maximum.

Additional Cash-Back Rewards are available for owners of existing homes and businesses on the installation or expansion of commercially available renewable energy systems, including solar domestic hot water, solar electric and wind systems. Cash-Back Rewards for solar domestic hot water systems can cover up to $3,000, or a maximum of 30 percent of the project's cost, rewards for solar electric systems can fund up to 35 percent of a project to a maximum of $35,000 and wind system Cash-Back Rewards cover up to 25 percent of the project's cost up to $35,000.

Homeowners and Businesses Statewide Are Eligible

Focus on Energy financial incentives are available for individuals and businesses located in areas served by electric utilities participating in the Focus on Energy program. Homes and facilities that are "off the grid" (not connected to the local electric system) also are eligible, provided they are located within the service territory of a participating utility.

Focus on Energy requires site assessments be completed and applications submitted to the Renewable Energy program before systems are installed. To learn more about Focus on Energy and its Renewable Energy program, or to find out if you qualify for financial incentives call 800.762.7077 or visit

About the Focus on Energy Renewable Energy Program
Focus on Energy is a public-private partnership that provides energy efficiency and renewable energy information and services to the state's energy utility customers. Focus on Energy's Renewable Energy program seeks to raise awareness, provide training and financing, enhance marketing, promote technical assistance, and support the installation of renewable energy technologies across Wisconsin. Focus on Energy provides applications, with full program details, at 800.762.7077 or at

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