The City and County of Honolulu and Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) are forming a new partnership to make it easier for low-to-moderate income homeowners and landlords to install solar water heating systems on their properties.Honolulu, Hawaii – May 12, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The program, called the Honolulu Solar Roofs Initiative, will offer seven-year loans at zero and two percent financing (depending on income levels) to cover the cost of solar installations. HECO’s US$750-per-home rebate will further lower the cost of this energy-saving equipment. “This partnership reflects our ongoing commitment to transforming Honolulu into a sustainable city that promotes the efficient and clean use of its resources,” Mayor Jeremy Harris said. “We are delighted that we can join with HECO to offer these significant incentives that will encourage greater energy conservation in our community.” HECO and the City’s Department of Community Services will administer the Honolulu Solar Roofs Initiative, using funds from the City’s Rehabilitation Loan Program. The low-interest loans are available for single-family homes, condominiums, and coops. To qualify, landlords have to rent their properties to tenants who fall under the low-to-moderate income limits set by the City. “Hawaii already has the largest concentration of solar water heating systems per capita in the nation, in part because of the rebates we’ve been offering for the last seven years,” said T. Michael May, President and CEO of Hawaiian Electric Company. “Now, more people will be able to save energy and money with solar water heating.” More than 20,000 solar systems have been installed with the help of rebates from HECO and its subsidiaries MECO and HELCO since the solar water heating incentive program started in 1996. With the rebate program, the largest in the nation, consumers have saved US$6.2 million in energy costs and Hawaii 93,000 barrels of oil. HECO will begin accepting loan applications starting in May. For information on how to apply for the loans under the Honolulu Solar Roofs Initiative, contact 523-4207.