SOURCE: Technology Credit Union

Technology Credit Union

August 22, 2011 19:02 ET

Technology Credit Union Offers New, Low-Cost Solar $mart Loans for Solar Panel Installations

The Loans Are Part of Tech CU's Participation in the SunShares Initiative -- Promoting Region-Wide Solar Adoption in the Bay Area

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - Aug 22, 2011) - Technology Credit Union announced today two new solar loan programs that provide low-cost financing to those interested in putting solar energy panels on their home or other residential property. Called Solar $mart*, the new loans complement Tech CU's work with the Bay Area Climate Collaborative (BACC) on SunShares, a Bay Area-wide program that makes it possible for residents, businesses and governments throughout the region to receive deep discounts on their solar energy purchases by taking advantage of "solar group buys." Regional expansion of SunShares builds upon a pilot program the City of San Jose began for its employees in 2010 with assistance from the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar America Cities program.

SunShares reduces the complexities of implementing solar independently, while providing attractive financing terms for home solar installations. For example, employees of the city of San Jose who took part in the program were able to receive a 40 percent discount off the current market price for installation costs with solar providers SunPower and SunWater Solar, as well as reduced interest rates on money borrowed for their projects.

Tech CU members who participate in a SunShares solar installation can choose to receive a pre-negotiated discount using SunPower solar panels or they can participate in a group buy to negotiate a group discount with a solar provider. Tech CU will provide financing for all projects through Solar $mart, which offers two loan options: the Solar $mart Home Equity Line of Credit, a secured loan that provides financing up to 80 percent loan-to-value with credit limits from $5,000 to $75,000, and the Solar $mart Unsecured Loan, which offers 10- or 20-year term loans from $10,000 to $50,000.

In addition, individuals may qualify for Federal tax credits for up to 30 percent of their solar project. For a complete list of qualifying projects, visit www.energystar.gov/taxcredits. Be sure to consult a tax advisor regarding tax credits and possible interest deductibility on Solar $mart Loans.

For those interested in learning more about solar installation and financing alternatives, Tech CU will be hosting a seminar at SunPower's Silicon Valley location on Wednesday, August 24, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Attendees will learn about the benefits of installing solar panels -- including the possibility of reducing home energy costs, financing options available through Tech CU, and discounts offered on SunPower systems. There will also be a factory tour to see first-hand how solar panels are made. Space is limited for the seminar. Please RSVP by going to www.techcu.com/solarseminar today.

To learn more about Tech CU's Solar $mart loan or to apply, go to: www.techcu.com/solar.

ABOUT TECHNOLOGY CREDIT UNION
Founded in 1960 by the employees of Fairchild Camera and Instrument Semiconductor Division, Technology Credit Union has served the high tech workforce in Silicon Valley for 50 years. Today, Tech CU has extended its membership benefits to small businesses and individuals who live and work in the greater Bay Area. The credit union is recognized as one of the best-managed and strongest financial institutions in the country. Tech CU's 74,000 members have access to 60,000 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide, online and mobile banking, 9 full-service branches in the Bay Area, and comprehensive wealth management and small business services. www.techcu.com.

* Loans available for California 1-4 unit primary residences only. All loans subject to credit approval. Equal Housing Lender.

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