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Revolving around alternative energy

September 29, 2011 - Rob Weaver
A state law* that lets county commissioners establish alternative energy zones -- which the board of commissioners is considering in Seneca County -- also allows cities and counties to create revolving loan programs to help foster renewable energy and energy efficiency projects by businesses, organizations or individuals.

I’m not bringing this up because our board is considering whether to do this, too. In fact, I haven’t been able to determine whether any municipalities in Ohio have set up such revolving loan funds.

The idea is for a city or county to establish a fund for the loan program. Local residents or businesses could apply for a low-interest rate loans to help finance a renewable energy project or even to use energy-efficient technologies to cut down on energy use.

It would work like other revolving loan programs: as loans are repaid, the money could be loaned for other qualifying projects. Of course, establishing a loan fund would be the easy part; finding seed money would be a more difficult matter.

The bill states eligible alternative energy technologies include solar photovoltaic energy, solar thermal energy, wind energy and geothermal energy -- and that is why I am bringing this up. Anyone interested in seeing these technologies in person can take a tour this weekend. A list of sites, including a rural Tiffin home using photovoltaic equipment, was published on page 5A Thursday and is available online at this address:

* Senate Bill 232 of 2010


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