In an extraordinary step toward renewable energy, Pendleton, Ore., city leaders have created 2011 programs for Solarize Pendleton Phase II to support residential and commercial solar systems for no money down and at a zero interest rate. The Solarize Pendleton effort enables participants to take advantage of discount pricing for solar systems and other energy-saving tools such as solar hot water systems. However, businesses and residential customers need to be aware of fast-approaching deadlines. Commercial applications are available now and the City of Pendleton zero interest loan deadline is 12 p.m. on April 11. The total city commitment for commercial zero-interest loans is $1 million. Businesses may borrow up to $125,000 on a first-come, first-serve basis. Additionally, businesses owners who want to apply to the statewide lottery for the 50% Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC), must have their applications postmarked by April 11.

City of Pendleton leaders have offered residents 75 zero-interest loans from a total pool of $675,000. According to solar analysts, homeowners cut their utility bills by about a third by using solar PV systems and further protect themselves from utility rate increases. The winners of the zero-interest residential loans will be drawn in a lottery on May 6. A no-obligation registration form is required.

Loan details and forms are available at Solarize Pendleton or by contacting Lindsey Hardy at the City of Pendleton at (541) 966.0248.