Still Need A XMAS Gift For Your Green Friend

xmas treeSolar Christmas Tree

Oakland-based Mosaic, a crowd-sourcing company for investments in solar energy projects, began offering $25 credits Monday to anyone who opens an account.

The company is distributing the credit as a wallet-sized gift card that can be downloaded and printed for use — perhaps as a Christmas stocking stuffer.

“Solar is a new asset class, and a lot of people are wary to jump in,” said Katie Ullmann, a Mosaic spokeswoman. “This is really a great gift for younger people who are passionate about solar projects, or who also are just getting started investing or learning about investment portfolios.”

Launched in 2001, Mosaic has financed $5.6 million in commercial-scale solar projects atop military and university housing complexes, a federal food distribution center and agricultural facilities.

Mosaic online account holders — there are about 2,100 — can shop among projects by prospectus. Average annual returns are advertised at 4.5 percent to 7 percent. Investments typically come to maturity for withdrawal after five and 10 years.

California allows any individual 18 or older to invest through Mosaic, while some states limit participation to accredited investors with significant income or assets. Ullmann said Mosaic keeps 1 percent of payments it receives from solar installations.

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