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San Francisco just thrust solar power further into the limelight.

The city's Board of Supervisors recently voted to launch a citywide cash incentive program for rooftop solar panel power generation.

It's the largest municipal solar initiative in the nation.

That means you get money back -- and lots of it -- for installing rooftop solar systems to generate electricity.

The big news is that the city's solar panel incentive piggy-backs rebates onto existing state and federal incentives.

For example, an average solar system costs about $30,000 including installation.

With the maximum rebates available, San Francisco residents can get $6,000 through the San Francisco Solar Energy Incentive Program; $2,000 from federal energy tax credits and $4,500 from the state's California Solar Initiative.

That's a maximum total of $12,500 that can be rebated to San Francisco residents, leaving them on the hook for the remaining $17,500.

To help lower costs more, a community movement in San Francisco, called One Block Off The Grid, is coordinating a group buying effort to cut costs.

Also, a growing number of lenders offer special, low-interest loans for solar panel purchases and installation.

Rooftop solar panel installation also can be eligible for an Energy Efficient Mortgage.

What's more, solar panels can increase the value of your home.

Let the sun shine in.

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