Surprise! Given the opportunity, homeowners took swift advantage of a new Berkeley program that let them install solar panels for the grand sum of no money up front at all. This being Berkeley, the question isn’t if the tickets, like the Oakland Tribune reports, went faster than spots to a Bruce Springsteen concert. The question is if the tickets went faster than a speeding cheetah, a freight train, a pack of dogs on a 3 legged cat? Faster than the arctic caps are liquefying, the economy combusting, our coral reefs dying and our natural resources adjourning to the afterworld thanks to our relentless efforts to consume everything on Earth ever? Faster, even, than instant noodles?

The morning after the presidential election, the city opened its online application for a program to help homeowners with the cost of solar installation by shifting that cost onto their property-tax bills for the next 20 years. Within the first nine minutes, 40 applications were immediately received. Bam!

So who won out? The city went with a first come first serve method of selecting the winning homes–in this case, the first five applicants in each of Berkeley’s eight City Council districts.

The program, which will cost $1.5 million, was nursed through its planning stages and delivered into the real world by Cisco DeVries, Tom Bates’ chief of staff for about half a dozen years. The plan was approved in the form of Measure G by more than 80 percent of voters two years ago, a measure that asked everyone to do their part in reducing greenhouse gases by 80 percent by 2050.

More numbers! Each system will cost about $28,000 to run, with homeowners paying about $182 monthly on their property tax bills. Sometimes, sir, it pays to be a lean mean green machine.

Image Source: shootina710is under Creative Commons
Spots for Berkeley’s solar program snapped up in 9 minutes [Oakland Tribune]



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