COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - The cost to go green for your home can be huge. Collier County has a plan that can save you energy, a lot of money and create much needed jobs for the area.
Collier Commissioner Jim Coletta knows a thing or two about solar energy. He's had it heating his own pool for the last 10 years.
"It extends our swimming season by at least another three months," Coletta says.
He's spearheading the task force that will make going green as easy and cheap as it's probably ever been for residents.
"The Regional Planning Council has $34 million that they believe will be at their disposal soon to help off set the cost of solar water heaters," Coletta explains.
The grant will bring the cost down to between $1000 and $2000 for solar water heaters for your home. A cost that could be realized in savings in less than a year.
The other program is called PACE, Property Assessed Clean Energy.
"The solar heater, solar panels, special windows that would keep the cost of cooling your house down; all these items could be brought into play at the same time."
The cost to put these in your home would go on your tax assessment over a 20 year period. But, Coletta says it's a different kind of assessment. "It's not one you have to pay off when you're ready to sell your house. It says with the property."
The idea being that the energy saved could easily pay the assessment, making it nearly free.
With both programs there's an added bonus. Contractors out of work could be doing the installation, potentially creating hundred of jobs.
For more information on the PACE program you can call (239) 252-8097.
More information about the regional planning council's Solar Energy Retrofit Initiative, including applications for homeowners and vendors, is available at http://www.solarswf.com/.