A couple of years ago, Cisco Devries was the mayor’s chief of staff in Berkeley, California. One day he decided he wanted to get solar PV panels for his home’s roof so he could generate his own clean, green renewable energy. But he ran up against the same money wall the rest of us do – that huge up front out of pocket expense of $15,0oo-$25,000 you need to pay to get the solar.
So Cisco started looking for a better way for people to pay for solar and he started talking to other folks in Berkeley government.
Before too long they came up with the idea of creating special tax or assessment districts – just like the ones used when people have their utilities undergrounded. They created the innovative concept of selling bonds to finance loans for the solar installations and then letting property owners pay back those loans over 20 years as an assessment on their property taxes.
Today 40 different home in Berkeley have gone solar using this financing method.
And today, Cisco Devries is President of Renewable Funding and he’s working hard to bring this same financing method to people in every city in California, and in cities around the country. In fact, Renewable Funding purchased all 40 of those Berkeley micro bonds, each one equal to the loan amont granted to the property owners to install solar.
I could talk all day about what Cisco Devries and his talented team at Renewable Funding have done. I could tell you how Cisco is not only the single person who has done the most to make solar affordable for tens of millions of people but is also the undisputed Godfather of AB 811, but here’s Cisco himself, to speak in his own voice: