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  Goldwater Newsletter-GEM Blog  |  March 2016    


Transcending Antiquated Rainwater Lending Policies

drinking water

We can survive without electricity, but clean, reliable water is a critical resource that humans simply can’t live without.


Final Logo.pngby Teresa Lopez, CEO Green Energy Money, March 26, 2016 


A Call to Action  We can survive without electricity, but clean, reliable water is a critical resource that humans simply can’t live without.  Growing demand in underserved drought-ridden regions where municipality water infrastructure is unavailable has become problematic.

The mortgage industry and regulatory agencies have not addressed this critical issue or provided allowable loan guidelines for water market-based solutions to meet the growing demand.  Homeowners need access to affordable financing for alternative, appropriate water systems.Regulatory policy maker’s duty to serve their communities, and alignment with appropriate 21st Century technological advancement, needs to be a top priority.

Rainwater harvesting systems, or cisterns, date back for centuries, prior to the birth of modern civilization.  Rainwater harvesting has fast become a viable solution for our current global water shortage crisis. Water falling from the sky, properly treated (rainwater systems use advanced UV and water filtration technology) is scientifically proven to be a much safer, healthier, cheaper and reliable method than groundwater well resources.

You also can’t fill a well if it runs dry. In fact, many homeowners with wells are forced to incur substantial capital outlays to drill a new well.  Potable city water can be trucked in to temporarily accommodate families when wells run dry; or can alternatively provide a back-up solution to top off rainwater systems if drought conditions arise.

Today’s antiquated lending policies, (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA provides most mortgage industry standards), require homeowners to obtain an additional comparable rainwater system home that has sold on the multiple-listing system (MLS) in the past year in order to qualify for the loan; or install a back-up system (drill a well), a cost-prohibitive and expensive option. These requirements are virtually impossible to achieve in many communities as most homes incorporating rainwater are custom built and aren’t sold on the MLS.

On the other hand, properties with wells aren’t required to obtain a comparable property (well) sale and can be compared to properties with municipality water supplies. It’s important to note that a few decades ago properties with wells weren’t allowed in secondary mortgage markets like Fannie Mae. As housing markets expanded, these guidelines shifted, but still required potable water testing on the well water prior to closing for many years.

Did you know that lending guidelines for groundwater well systems no longer require a potable water test to ensure safe water?




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Price of Solar Energy in the United States Has Fallen to 5¢/kWh on Average

Berkeley Lab study reveals 70% decline in PPA prices since 2009


News Release Jon Weiner • SEPTEMBER 30, 2015

Solar energy pricing is at an all-time low, according to a new report released by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Driven by lower installed costs, improved project performance, and a race to build projects ahead of a reduction in a key federal incentive, utility-scale solar project developers have been negotiating power sales agreements with utilities at prices averaging just 5¢/kWh. These prices reflect receipt of the 30% federal investment tax credit, which is scheduled to decline to 10% after 2020, and would be higher if not for that incentive. By comparison, average wholesale electricity prices across the United States ranged from 3 to 6 cents/kWh in 2014, depending on the region.




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EcoBits, Austin Eco Network 

Thursday, March 17th, 2016  


president obama[SXSW] "The most important office in a democracy is the office of citizen." That's what President Obama said to a packed house at the Long Center last week as he delivered the keynote address at SXSW.

Throughout his speech, Obama focused on this issue of community involvement, inviting innovators, technologists, and average citizens alike to get more involved and help government to solve some of the world's greatest problems. 



President Obama "The most important office in a democracy is the office of citizen"

"The reason I'm here really is to recruit all of you. It's to say to you as I'm about to leave office, how can we start coming up with new platforms, new ideas, new approaches, across disciplines and across skill sets, to solve some of the big problems we're facing today."

In other words, there are lots of opportunities for everyone to be more engaged across all levels of government. Problems ranging from climate change to traffic can all be solved with big ideas and input from individuals just like you.



Solar Energy Industries Association: Solar Market Insight 2015 Q4

solar panelThe quarterly SEIA/GTM Research U.S. Solar Market Insight™ report shows the major trends in the U.S. solar industry. Learn more about the U.S. Solar Market Insight Report.

2015 was a momentous year for solar power in the United States. Solar PV deployments reached an all-time high of 7,260 megawatts direct current (MWdc), up 16% over 2014 and 8.5 times the amount installed five years earlier.

Total operating solar PV capacity reached 25.6 GWdc by the end of the year, with over 900,000 individual projects delivering power each day. By the time this report is published in Q1 2016, the U.S. will be approaching its millionth solar PV installation.


"GEM": The Word on the Street

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The Green Energy Money financial tools and valuation methods add tremendous value to our HERS Index and building performance analytic certifications. We are motivated to support GEM in their development of economic solutions to provide ‘true’ cost benefits to building owners across the country.  Now our energy rating and building science industry finally has a way to provide the financial markets with the ability to quantify their risk and financially reward building owners with incentivized high-performance building loans and appraisals necessary for mass market adoption. 

— Steve Baden, Executive Director, RESNET



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