New York Communities Receive PACE Funds

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded New York communities $40 million infederal stimulus funds to help property owners implementenergy-efficiency projects and small-scale renewable energy projects.

New York City and the New York State Energy Research and DevelopmentAuthority and a consortium of 14 northern Westchester towns, led byBedford, N.Y., received grant awards through the federal RetrofitRamp-Up Program.

In their grant applications, the jurisdictionsproposed using the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), which allowsproperty owners to pay off the projects through an incremental charge on their property taxes over an extended period of time of up to 20 years.

Current New York law, however, only authorizes use of the PACE program withfederal funds, Vote Solar points out. The organization believes thestate should expand this economic opportunity to more New Yorkers byamending the existing legislation to allow cities, counties and townsthroughout the state to leverage federally supported programs with morefunds, and for others to implement such programs with other fundingsources, including private funding sources.

Doing so would alsocreate significant business opportunities for the mortgage bankingcommunity, which can participate in various stages of the PACE financing system, Vote Solar adds.