Contributed by Erin Noble of Renew Missouri
Governor Nixon signed into law a green jobs policy called PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) on Monday. PACE will allow cities and counties to issue bonds to pay up to 100% of the upfront costs of efficiency and renewable energy upgrades for homes and businesses, including energy audits.
The new legislation requires energy savings to outweigh special assessment payments, making them cashflow-positive and saving participants money continually from day one. Homeowners repay project costs yearly though a special assessment on the benefited property, with most assessments lasting up to twenty years.
For example, if a PACE assessment for a $12,000 project is $500 per year, the energy savings from building upgrades would have to be more than $500 per year. Upon sale of the home, the PACE special assessment and energy savings would both be passed on to the next owner.
Developed in 2007, PACE legislation has already been passed in 21 states. The Harvard Business Review named PACE as one of the top ten breakthrough ideas of 2010. Cities with PACE programs have found that:
PACE Creates Local Jobs. PACE increases the demand for certified energy auditors, energy efficient technology manufacturers, and insulation, window, solar, and HVAC installers. In fact, PACE is expected to create 160,000 skilled-labor, local, green jobs nationally.
PACE Lowers Energy Bills and Increases Value. Beyond lowering energy bills, homes with efficiency or renewable energy upgrades have been shown to spend fewer days on the market and to sell for more.
PACE is Revenue Neutral. PACE loan programs have no impact to a city’s budget, since bonds cover both the loans and program administration costs.
Many counties and municipalities across the state have already begun considering implementing PACE programs. including St. Louis County, Kansas City, Columbia, Springfield, Ferguson, Creve Coeur, and others.
Renew Missouri, a renewable energy and energy efficiency advocacy group who championed the effort to bring PACE to Missouri, is holding a PACE Training for city and county officials this Friday:
ADVANCING CLEAN ENERGY AT THE LOCAL LEVEL:
How to Implement PACE & Other Effective Clean Energy Programs
Friday, July 16, 2010
Charter Lecture Hall at Stephens College – Columbia, MO
9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Visit www.renewmo.org/pace-training.html for more information.