A new bill in the Golden State could soon give home- andbusiness-owners access to a statewide loan program that would help themfinance solar installations and other renewable energy projects. Thebill, SBX8 26, would create a program to standardize Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs across California and authorize a $50 million PACE fund to be used as “credit enhancements for qualified PACE financing programs to further lower financing costs.”
The long and short of it is, bill SBX8 26 has the potential to makesolar adoption more financially viable for Californians—and not justthose living in select cities or municipalities—by giving residentialand commercial property owners the option to partially finance theirenergy retrofits through bonds or loans from their local government.These loans could then be repaid over time via reassessments in theborrower’s property tax bill. For more on the (rather popular) PACEmodel, Adam has a terrific run-down of San Francisco’s newly-unveiledPACE program here, with the nitty-gritty boiled down to a few key points.
Seeing as the bill passed unanimously (32-0!) hot off the California Senate floor yesterday morning,its chances of moving through the Assembly are good, though any numberof obstacles could present themselves before the bill becomes law.Still, the bill’s main angle—job creation—is a flag Democrats andRepublicans alike can wave, and the bill’s sponsor, Senator Fran Pavley(D-Agoura Hills), appears upbeat.
From the press release:
“We can all agree on energy efficiency and jobs. Thisbill will bring down the cost of energy efficiency loans and help spurjob creation. It benefits workers, consumers, businesses and theenvironment.” said [Pavley] after the unanimous bipartisan vote. “It’simportant to show the people of California that when it comes topressing issues for California families, Democrats and Republicans canwork together in Sacramento.”
Jump-starting the economy, lowering unemployment and facilitating solar adoption? Sounds like a bill we can get behind.