Municipal Property Tax Financing for Renewable Energy and Improvements – Palm Desert, CA

On July 24, 2008, the City of Palm Desert became the first city in California to pursue public financing of distributed renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements under AB 811.

Through three phases of Palm Desert’s Energy Independence Program (EIP), the City has committed $10 million in funding for loans.  The first two phases saw 208 homeowners receive loans.  Phase III, which begins taking applications in July 2009, already has a waiting list of 290 people.  

To finance Phase III, Palm Desert is issuing revenue bonds and reserving half of the $2.5 million for energy efficiency improvements.  The maximum loan is $100,000 per parcel with a fixed interest rate set below market levels and a flexible payback period of 1-20 years to be attached to the homeowner’s property tax assessment.

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