A plan to help Santa Cruzans soak up the sun is moving forward. The California Energy Commission (CEC) has approved funding for the CaliforniaFIRST pilot program, which will allow residents of several California counties to install solar panels and other energy efficient technologies using government loans. Home and business owners will pay back the loan through their property taxes—an added incentive to people who might consider moving or have lower credit scores. Ecology Action, which helped write the grant, estimates the CEC’s funding will bring the interest rate for the loan down to 7 or 8 percent. They expect more details will be available in the coming weeks.