California’s Reserve Fund Won’t Lift the FHFA Boot From PACE’s Neck

Date: 15 Jul 2014 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 2 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Earlier this year, the state of California announced a $10 million loan-loss reserve to solve the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s severe restrictions on using property-tax based financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy on residential property. It’s a great concept, but … Read More

ILSR Releases New Public Savings Fact Sheet

Date: 29 Nov 2012 | posted in: information, MuniNetworks | 1 Facebooktwitterredditmail

This new resource shares real world examples of public savings directly connected to municipal networks. Publicly owned broadband networks provide opportunities for local savings to taxpayers. Local and regional governments find new and unexpected ways to cut costs when they … Read More

FHFA Finally Releases PACE Ruling: Did They Repent?

Date: 15 Jun 2012 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 3 Facebooktwitterredditmail

After effectively suspending residential PACE energy efficiency and renewable energy municipal financing programs in 2010 and then being taken to federal court and required to do a revised rule making, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released its revised ruling … Read More

Commercial PACE Surges Ahead With Financing for Efficiency and Local Renewables

Date: 4 Nov 2011 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Energy efficient roofing materials installed at a building at NNSA's Pantex PlantProperty-assessed clean energy (PACE) financing launched three years ago with great promise.  The premise was simple: pay for building energy efficiency and on-site renewable energy with long-term property tax assessments, aligning payback periods and financing terms.  The residential program’s rapid expansion came to a screeching halt in mid-2010 when the Federal Housing Finance Agency told lenders that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would not buy mortgages with PACE assessments on them.

Commercial PACE was left alive, and programs for business and industry are finally getting scale. 

In September, the Carbon War Room announced a business consortium would provide $650 million in financing for commercial energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements for two regions: Sacramento, CA, and Miami, FL.  San Francisco announced a similar program in October, with $100 million in private funding.  For comparison, the largest operational PACE program to date in Sonoma County, CA, has completed $50 million in retrofits. 

An interesting difference in the new programs is that they inject private capital into PACE programs that were often envisioned as publicly financed (e.g. using municipal revenue bonds).  It’s a welcome development, however, since public sector programs had grown slowly – if at all – since the FHFA decision to curtail residential financing.

The opportunity in commercial PACE alone is enormous.  The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory estimates that building energy consumption could be cut by 15-20% in the United States with the right technologies and tools. Since buildings represent 40% of energy use, beefed up commercial PACE activity could be a big step in the right direction.

For more on the residential program and attempts to revive it, visit PACENOW.org.

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MN Bonding Projects Should Be Climate Neutral

Date: 25 Jan 2006 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

A recent column by Democratic Energy’s editor, John Bailey, outlines how potential building projects in the Governor’s $900 million bonding proposal in Minnesota should be constructed so that there are no net increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

New Minnesota Building Should Not Increase Greenhouse Gases – by John Bailey, published in St. Paul Pioneer Press, January 24,2006

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