With city loans, homeowners go green now, pay later 

By Julie Schmit of USA TODAY: Putting solar or other green upgrades on homes and businesses is getting less painful in more cities that are rapidly launching programs to enable owners to pay back upfront costs over years. The programs let property owners borrow money for upgrades, then pay it back over up to 20 years as a special assessment on property tax bills. The Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE programs, work like this: A city, county or other municipal entity creates a district to issue bonds to raise money to lend to property owners. Investors buy the bonds. If properties sell, payments transfer to new owners.The concept was launched in a pilot in Berkeley, Calif., in 2008. Boulder County has lent almost $10 million to 612 homeowners for everything from solar to new insulation and energy-efficient furnaces, Livingston says. Read more

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