On Tuesday, April 5, the House of Representatives passed a bill that will make renewable energy and energy efficiency projects more affordable to Vermonters. The bill, H.155, makes important changes to the Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, program that was originally passed in 2009.
PACE helps Vermonters come up with the upfront capital they need to make significant, money saving energy renovations to their homes and businesses. Property owners pay back the initial investment with their energy savings over time through a separate assessment on their property tax bill. Only the property owners who choose to participate in the program will pay through a line item in their local tax bill. The PACE program also removes the uncertainty of recovering the cost of improvements if the property is sold because the financing, like the energy savings, stays with the property through the separate assessment-not with the person.
Fixing PACE is a great first step to jump starting renewable energy and efficiency projects in the state, but the program only works if communities adopt the program. At least 40 communities have expressed interest in the program, and 12 have already passed PACE at the municipal level. Let us know if your community is ready to take part in this program, and we can help you get started.