Google sets up $75-mn fund to finance home solar systems

Google yesterday said that it will create an initial fund of $75 million with Clean Power Finance to help 3,000 home owners across the US to switch to solar energy at practically no cost.

Buying a solar system is a major cost for homeowners, so Google will fund the $30,000 required to set up a solar system on their house for little or no money up front.

Google, which has had solar panels on its own headquarters since 2007, will own the panels, and get paid over time by customers who purchase the electricity the panels produce.

Homeowners pay a monthly payment for the system, at a price that is often less than paying for energy from their local utility provider.

Maintenance and performance of the solar panels and system are taken care of by Clean Power Finance and its network of installers.

Rick Needham, director of Green Business Operations at Google, said in a blog post, ''Purchasing a solar system is a major home improvement, but the upfront cost has historically been one of the biggest barriers for homeowners. Solar installers across the country don't always have the resources to find financing for customers, or the capital to provide it themselves.''