Loan program for green upgrades established 

It could become financially easier for the average property owner to make their homes and businesses more energy-efficient, according to legislation signed by Mayor Gavin Newsom on Monday.

The program establishes a low-cost loan for residential and commercial property owners so they can finance environmentally conscious building improvements, including solar and water conservation work, according to the Mayor’s Office.

The legislation — which was authored by supervisors Bevan Dufty and Eric Mar — establishes a Citywide Mello-Roos Special Tax District. The loan, which has no cap, would be attached to the property, not the individual, and would be paid back through property taxes during the life of the loan.

“With almost half of San Francisco’s greenhouse gas emissions being produced by our homes and local buildings, this new green financing program will drastically curb San Francisco’s carbon footprint and reduce the strain on our regional water supply,” Mar said. “It will also help put San Franciscans to work through our growing green jobs academies and programs.”

Newsom pointed out that this program will significantly raise the bar of green policy in the country, making renewable energy and water conservation projects more prevalent in San Francisco.

“The argument against it was always economic — ‘Well, I don’t have the money,’” Newsom said at a news conference. “Now we can finance the implementation and those efficiency upgrades.”

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