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Public Post is a community reporting initiative using digital tools to report on cities and towns across Vermont.Public Post is the only resource that lets you browse and search documents across dozens of Vermont municipal websites in one place.Follow reporter Amy Kolb Noyes and #PublicPost on Twitter and read news from the Post below.

Public Funds Lower Private Loan Rates For Community Solar Shares

A new pot of grant money is available to Vermonters borrowing money to buy into a community solar project.

For a limited time, Vermonters looking to borrow money to buy in to a community solar array can tap into some state grant money to lower their interest rates. The Vermont Public Service Department has granted $125,000 of Clean Energy Development Fund money to lower community solar loan rates through the Vermont State Employees Credit Union (VSECU).

The grant-enhanced loans are available through March, or until the funds are depleted. The amount the interest rate is lowered depends upon the borrower's income. Annual percentage rates on loans for between $5,000 and $40,000 could be lowered by 0.5 percent, 1 percent or 1.5 percent.

"This grant gives us additional resources to help Vermonters who wish to go solar, but don’t have an ideal site for solar panels, are renters, or just want to benefit from the cost effective alternative of owning panels in a community solar project,” said Laurie Fielder, VGreen program director at VSECU.

VSECU sent out a press announcement stating it is currently seeking eligible applicants. To be eligible, applicants must be Vermont residents working with an eligible solar company and securing a loan through VSECU’s VGreen program for residential energy improvement projects.

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