Alternative energy is too expensive for San Diego consumers - NOT

New report debunks the common misconceptions

provided by Power Shift

ccording to a report entitled Residential Solar Financing, San Diego residents could save $325.50 per year by adding solar panels and energy efficiency upgrades using new clean energy mortgages available at major banks. Not only will consumers make money, but also banks will make more money on this deal.

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac created Energy Improvement Mortgages to allow home buyers to include the costs of energy efficiency and clean energy to their mortgages. Energy bills are one of the highest monthly costs of home ownership. This new loan allows consumers to save on that monthly cost. In San Diego, local residents will see an annual savings of $325.50 and increase the value of their homes by $6,510.

    “Freddie Mac's guidelines have recognized the value of improving energy efficiency in housing since 1983,” said John E. Hemschoot, Director of Credit Policy for Freddie Mac. “Our guidelines allow lenders to finance more buyers of energy efficient homes by considering the expected utility savings in their qualifying ratios. We also permit lenders to finance the costs of making energy improvements to existing homes in the mortgage.”

    According to the report, more than 46% of average American homeowners can save money month-to-month by retrofitting their home with solar panels and energy efficiency improvements. These savings are realized by installing solar panels, high quality insulation, compact fluorescent light bulbs, Energy Star appliances and other products. These investments reduce the amount of electricity that homeowners purchases by over 30% and increase the value of homes by $20 for every dollar that is saved from the new energy investments.

    San Diego mortgage lenders can profit from Energy Improvement Mortgages as well. If the bank holds the mortgage in its portfolio then it will earn $23,940 more in interest when consumers purchase a normal sized solar panel system. If the bank sells the mortgage to Fannie Mae of Freddie Mac, then profits will increase by approximately $239 per mortgage.

    The best states for consumer savings from solar powered, energy efficient homes are California, Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Illinois.

    Solar panels and energy efficiency prevent CO2, the pollution produced when coal, gasoline and natural gas are burned to generate electricity. Scientists agree that CO2 forms an unnatural blanket above the earth, which traps in heat and causes global warming.

    This report is a part of the work of the organization that released the report, Power Shift, in its efforts to convince banks to invest more capital in clean energy. Power Shift has focused much of its attention on Citibank, which Bloomberg L.P. reports is the largest financier of oil and gas infrastructure projects and coal projects worldwide. “Right now banks like Citigroup are bankrolling global warming by financing fossil fuel projects. They now have an unprecedented chance to make solar energy affordable for the average American while making America energy independent,” said Mark von Topel, Campaign Organizer with Power Shift.

    Power Shift is the only national campaigning organization working exclusively to stop global warming. The full report can be found online at