For Sacramento, Energy Upgrades With No Upfront Costs
January 31, 2013
By Jim Witkin | The New York Times: Sacramento has announced a new program to help finance energy-saving upgrades for buildings like adding insulation, replacing old windows, installing high-efficiency heating and cooling systems or adding rooftop solar panels.
Owners of homes or commercial buildings will incur no upfront costs for taking part in the program, Clean Energy Sacramento, but will gradually pay back the financing in installments on their property tax bills. The city’s program will be one of the largest in the country based on this approach, known as Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, financing, said Stacey Lawson, the chief executive of the company that will manage the program for the city, Ygrene Energy Fund.
Sacramento has set a goal to reduce its energy use by 15 percent by 2020. The program will open with $22 million already committed to upgrades, Ms. Lawson said in a telephone interview.
It will also be the first program to operate under a state legislative measure that expanded the guidelines for regulating PACE programs and should help resolve some of the snags that have troubled other such efforts, she said.