Solar+ Financing Pilot Program

 

*Application window from September 28th – October 21st 2022.  

Thank you for your interest in the Solar+ Financing Pilot Program.  Program information, instructions and helpful links can all be found here.

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

The USVI Solar+ Financing (SPF) Pilot Program is a loan program for residential solar PV and Battery systems being offered through the Virgin Islands Energy Office and the VI Water and Power Authority.  Through on-bill repayment this program allows property owners to pay for renewable energy systems through their monthly utility bill.

This program is designed to benefit energy burdened VI homeowners by lowering the barriers to resiliency and giving them greater control over their utility bill. Energy burden is referred to the cost of energy related expenditures of the household in relation to the gross monthly household income. Energy burden can be calculated by dividing the household energy cost by the monthly gross household income. The Solar+ Financing Pilot Program tries to be sensitive to households with high energy burdens by using it as a factor of eligibility.

Using the Energy Office’s Solar Savings Calculator, systems will be designed to result in minimum average bill reduction during the life of the loan. This allows us to bypass a credit check, a necessary step in all other large loan programs.

Download our Solar Savings Calculator to estimate your own bill savings.

SOLAR SAVINGS CALCULATOR

APPLICANT QUALIFICATIONS

  • Homeowner
  • Full-time resident
  • Minimum 1 year residency
  • No existing solar PV installations (Existing solar water heaters do not disqualify applicants)
  • Average WAPA bill must not exceed $800

HOW IT WORKS

The Solar+ Financing Pilot Program is only available to VI resident homeowners with no existing solar PV installed.  Selected applicants will receive a 15-year loan for a grid tied Solar PV system up to $30,000 with an annual interest rate of 1%.  This program uses an on-bill repayment mechanism, meaning the monthly loan payment will be placed on the homeowner’s WAPA bill for repayment.

APPLICATION PROCESS

A limited application window opens on September 28th 2022 and will close on October 21st 2022.  The application will only be available online and will be accessible through the link at the top of the page.  Applicants may also use the application station in the VIEO office where staff will be available to assist.

Download the Application Worksheet to make sure you’re prepared for the application window.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

Photos are acceptable but must be legible.  All pages of all documents must be included unless otherwise noted.

Click on any links below for examples of documents.

  • Property deed
  • Valid USVI government-issued ID Or US Issued Passport

WAPA Consumption Report Tutorial – Here is a tutorial for setting up your customer portal and getting the consumption report.

 

*Please have all of your documents ready when you are applying 

CLICK HERE or on the image below to apply for the Solar+ Financing Program

Click Here to download a full customer packet with consolidated information on the Solar+ Financing program and how to apply.

Financing FAQ

    1. How can I submit my application?

    Applications are submitted through an online portal called Smartsheet. If you are having trouble accessing a computer or phone to submit your application, please visit our offices.

    2. Can I use the Solar+ Financing Pilot Program for an off-grid system?

    No, this program is an on-bill financing program and therefore does require that your system be interconnected with WAPA.

    3. What technologies are eligible for the Solar+ Financing Pilot Program?

    The eligible technologies available will vary between applicants as different home energy usage and usage profiles help determine the most effective system setup for the applicant.  For some the Solar and Battery configuration will result in appropriate savings whereas others may benefit from an exclusively Solar system Approved applicants will be able to work with different installers to find the best solution for them.

    4. How much can I save on my WAPA bill?

    System size and specifications will depend on your projected utility bill, which is required to be estimated at least 10% lower than your current bill after the installation of the system, this includes your remaining energy bill and the Solar+ Financing Program loan payment.

    For example, if your current WAPA bill is $250 and the solar system installed saves you $150 per month on average and your financing cost is $110 then your new WAPA bill is $210.

    5. What is the maximum loan amount?

    The approved loan amount is based on the system size calculated using the VIEO’s Solar Savings Calculator. The loan maximum is $30,000 per household.

    6. What are the terms of the loan?

    The loan term is fifteen (15) years, the interest rate is fixed at 1%, and loan payments are fully amortized over the term of the loan.

    7. Can the loan be refinanced through this program?

    No, the loan cannot be refinanced through this program, but can be paid off early and there is no penalty for early repayment of loan should the borrower wish to finance it through other means.

    8. What is energy burden?

    Your monthly WAPA bill divided by your monthly gross household income. Example if your WAPA bill is $250 and if your gross household income is $48,000 per year ($4,000 per month) you would divide 250 by 4000 = to get a 6.25% energy burden.

    9. Is there an income cap?

    No.

    10. What happens if I am not selected for this program?

    If you are not selected, you will be notified by email and by mail after the formal review process.

    11. Can I use this loan to add panels or a battery to my current system?

    No, this program is for new systems only.

    12. What is the Net Energy Billing Program (NEB)?

    The NEB program is the current policy and rate structure governing interconnection of distributed energy resources (PV and Storage) in the Virgin Islands. Customers enrolled in the NEB program can receive a credit on their WAPA bill for their excess solar generation. This rate structure is utilized when calculating forecasted savings for the Solar+ Financing Pilot Program.

    13. What is a Pilot Program?

    A pilot program is a small-scale, short-term experiment that will help the VIEO learn how a larger-scale project might work in practice. The funding for this program is limited and as a result a limited number of applicants will be selected. However, implementation of this pilot program will provide a meaningful input to developing and funding a larger-scale program that will have much broader impacts across the territory.

    14.  I have an existing Solar Water Heater, Can I still apply?

    Yes.  A solar water heater does not disqualify you for this program.  Only existing Photovoltaic (PV) Solar systems powering your home would disqualify you.

    15.  I am retired and collecting Social Security and do not file taxes because I am below the threshold? How do I apply?

    A stamped income tax return or tax transcript is required for this program so you would still need to submit your taxes for 2021 and supply a copy of the Stamped 1040 document.