Virgin Islanders feeling the sting of high energy costs can apply to a new program offering government loans repaid through solar-power savings.
Administered by the Virgin Islands Energy Office, the Solar+ Financing Pilot Program awards low-interest loans up to $30,000 to homeowners so they can install solar power and battery storage systems, Energy Office Director Kyle Fleming said in a written statement.
The loans will be repaid through the savings awardees realize on their electric power bills from the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority, Fleming said.
Funding for the pilot program is finite, and loans will be awarded to a limited number of applicants based on their energy burden.
The local program initiated by Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. aligns with a push for renewable energy in Washington, D.C., he said.
“The federal government’s support for renewable energy has grown exponentially since the announcement of the 2022 Inflation Recovery Act, which includes billions of dollars for clean energy projects,” Fleming wrote in his statement.
The Energy Office will provide loans to applicants who stand to benefit the most from energy savings, and the agency will recommend solar and battery storage systems specifications that homeowners can take to a list of vendors for installation, Fleming said.
The program will allow property owners to access zero-down financing and non-credit-based eligibility to install renewable energy systems and incrementally pay off those investments through their monthly utility bill.
This program is exclusively available to full-time USVI homeowners with no existing solar installed. Selected applicants will receive a 15-year loan with an annual interest rate of 1 percent to install an approved solar energy system tied into the Territory’s power grid.
Interested parties can find details and eligibility considerations online at energy.vi.gov. All applications must be submitted online. In-office support will be available to assist applicants as well. For more information, call the VIEO St. Croix office at 340-713-8436 or the St. Thomas office at 340-714-8436.