Litigation Moves Forward. The first Court orders regarding elements of the PACE lawsuits were issued by Judge Claudia Wilken on December 20th. The orders cover Sonoma County’s request for a preliminary injunction and the Court’s desire for the US Department of Justice to weigh in. The court has not yet made any decisions on the motions. However, while the judge stated that she was not inclined to require FHFA to affirmatively support PACE at this early stage of the case, she indicated that she was considering whether to order Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to begin a formal rulemaking process regarding PACE. We will certainly pass along any more information as it develops so that the PACE community can be ready to provide detailed comments. You can also check the www.PACENOW.org website for updates.
Legislation Moves Forward. While Congress did not take action on the PACE legislation that was introduced in 2010, work is continuing to prepare for the next session. There are plans for new, bi-partisan, PACE legislation to be introduced early in the year. Will send another update when this moves forward.
Commercial PACE Moves Forward. While residential PACE has mostly (but not entirely) been put on hold, a number of jurisdictions are moving forward with commercial programs. For example, Boulder County recently issued its first bond for commercial PACE and will now be funding the first 29 projects. Sonoma County continues to fund commercial projects and Los Angeles and Washington, DC are just two of the communities planning commercial programs in the new year. To assist with this effort, the US Department of Energy just released a section of their “Finance Guide” (see chapter 13, drafted by Renewable Funding) to assist communities with designing commercial PACE programs. Lastly, a report from the Clinton Climate Initiative, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Renewable Funding on existing and planned programs will be out soon.
PACENOW Hires Executive Director. PACENOW hired David Gabrielson as its new Executive Director. David has extensive experience in public finance at leading firms such as CS First Boston and JP Morgan and is also a town councilman in Bedford, NY, where he worked to establish an energy efficiency and renewable energy financing program using PACE. He has given the PACENOW website a facelift – check it out. You can reach him directly at email@example.com.