PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing is one of the most exciting clean energy topics of the past few years. It is also one of the hottest topics to keep an eye on, I think.
I’m not the only one who thinks so, though — Harvard Business Review has named PACE financing one of the “Breakthrough Ideas for 2010”.
If you’ve missed previous stories on the topic, very simply, PACE financing lets people pay for clean energy and energy efficiency retrofits to their homes or businesses through a slightly higher property tax over the course of 20 years. The government fronts the money and you pay it back over time while you save money on electricity. In many cases, the financial savings are greater than the increase in annual property taxes.
PACE financing started in Berkely, California in 2007, but it has been spreading across the US. Now, it has hit Florida. The Florida legislature just passed PACE financing legislation this week.
“PACE is a no-cost to taxpayers, no-mandate, consumer opt-in approach to bringing clean energy technology to homeowners and businesses which will help create jobs for Floridians at a critical time when we are working to get Florida’s economy back on track,” said Florida House Leader Adam Hasner (R-Delray Beach). “Often, the biggest hurdle homeowners face is coming up with the upfront costs to retrofit their homes with energy improvements. I commend all the members of the committee for working together to help homeowners finance the upfront costs for energy improvements. This commonsense, innovative policy initiative will remove this significant burden for homeowners and save them money.”
Florida legislators are confident PACE financing will help boost jobs, protect the environment and save individuals money.
It is good to see PACE financing coming to such a populous state (and my home state)! Plus, it is the Sunshine State — solar panels should be ubiquitous there.
With all the benefits of PACE financing, it probably won’t be long before we see it in the news again getting approved in more states or jurisdictions.
Image Credit: alternatePhotography via flickr under a CC license