PACE – Property Assessed Clean Energy

There is a new program available to help Vermonters invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for their homes and businesses. The Vermont Energy Act of 2009, which recently became law in Vermont, includes a provision that allows for the creation of Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, programs. This is a concept that has been approved in 16 states, and successfully implemented in California, New York and Colorado. Pace is being considered in many other locations around the country.

PACE is a voluntary program allowing individuals wishing to make eligible energy improvements to “opt-in” to a special assessment district created by their municipality.  Energy efficiency and/or renewable energy improvements are funded by taxable municipal bonds or other municipal debt, repaid over a 20 year period. All improvement work must be performed by appropriately qualified and licensed contractors and must be approved by an energy efficiency utility and your municipality.

This is a list of eligible projects

Here is a preliminary check list for property owners to start the PACE registration process.

The spring 2010 town meeting vote authorized the Putney Selectboard to move forward on implementing a PACE program. This vote is not an authorization to borrow money for the program – only to study and implement procedures.

Putney has been awarded a grant to fund a PILOT PACE Program, as of 4/15/2010 there is no money available, and we do not expect funding prior to June 2010. 

PACE Programs:

  • Enable municipalities to create and secure financing for a PACE program.
  • Participating municipalities can join together to obtain funding at a more cost effective rate.
  • Participating property owners pay back the loan over a period of (up to) 20 years through a special assessment charged as a new line item on their property tax bill.
  • The maximum amount that can be financed is 15% of the assessed value of the property, capped at $30,000 for residential properties up to 4 units. The total amount financed by PACE plus any outstanding mortgages on the property cannot exceed 90% of the assessed value.
  • Benefits for Vermont Property Owners Overcomes a key financial hurdle for making investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy. Incremental special assessment payments are low and fixed for up to 20 years, with no upfront cost, and there are no costs to property owners who do not participate.
  • PACE assessment fees transfer to the new owner when the property is sold, or assessment obligation can be paid in full at transfer.
  • Electricity and or fuel bills are lower than they would be without the improvements, and the property owner is helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Cities and towns can use PACE to become more self-reliant and energy efficient and contribute to meeting community sustainability, climate, and energy goals.
  • Cities and towns can provide a valuable public service to the members of their community.

Benefits to Vermont’s Economy

  • The implementation of PACE could inject millions of dollars directly into the Vermont economy with additional jobs which would make lasting energy and building infrastructure improvements. PACE would provide a steady and growing demand for energy efficiency installers, as well as installers of small-scale renewable energy systems.
  • Help to establish a steady and predictable demand for energy efficiency and renewable energy products, helping suppliers and retailers expand their businesses.

More Q&A here...

PEC is working to enact PACE in Putney – please contact us if your interested!