The solar-energy-gifted Sunshine State where I grew up has a ways to go to catch up to solar power leaders like California and New Jersey(!). The good news, however, is that one small town in Florida, Lantana, has just implemented the state’s first commercial PACE program, and hopefully this will open the door for many others to do so soon.
What is PACE?
PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing is one of the best ways to increase solar power adoption to date. Basically, instead of having to put money down or take out a loan for a big energy efficiency project or solar power system, you get the money for the project and pay off the loan by paying a higher rate on your property taxes in the following years. In the end, the majority of people should end up making good money down the road due to the increased electricity savings, and they don’t really have to invest anything but a little time and effort to see those savings.
What if you decide to sell your home? Well, everything is tied to the property, and that’s part of the beauty of the program — any new owners would just inherit the deal and benefit from the long-term energy savings (essentially boosting the resale value of the home).
1st Commercial PACE Program Is in Lantana
“The Florida Green Energy Works Program is the only program to successfully develop and adopt this type of robust, open market alternative for commercial property-owners to invest in and benefit from clean energy,” a news release states.
“Working through existing assessment repayment processes of local governments like the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser and Tax Collector makes repayment easy. The low risk associated with these investments results in low interest rates for every project. Better still, local governments interested in joining this Program have the opportunity to do so.”
The new Florida Green Energy Works program that offers this commercial PACE financing is also open to other cities and counties in Florida, so I hope we’ll see more announcements about municipalities adopting it soon.
“We’ve made a big commitment to our community—residents, business and real estate owners—that we’re going to invest in ourselves, our future and new jobs,” said Lantana Mayor David J. Stewart, Chairman of the Lantana Energy Improvement District. “This program is an essential step to fulfill that commitment.”
Florida Green Energy Works is a program of the statewide Florida Green Finance Authority. For more information, you can contact Mike Wallander at (561) 371-9022.
Florida Green Energy Works is also offering free workshops about the program for businesses and property owners. For more, visit the link above or call (855) 359-6757.
Images via Florida Green Energy Works
I'm the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular clean energy website in the world, and Planetsave, a leading green and science news site. I've been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and I've been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, bicycling, and wind energy for the past few years. You can also find my work on Scientific American, Reuters, Think Progress, GE's ecomagination site, several sites in the Important Media network, & many other places. To connect on some of your favorite social networks, go to zacharyshahan.com or click on some of the links below.