Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

PACE Legislation Introduced in House

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

PACE Legislation Introduced in House

Article excerpt

Last week, bipartisan legislation was introduced in the House that would restore the ability of local governments to offer Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs to finance the installation of renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements.

The bill incorporates directly into the legislation best practices and guidelines from the U.S. Department of Energy to ensure safety for homeowners, private capital providers and existing mortgage lenders.

The PACE Assessment Protection Act of 2011 (H.R. 2599), sponsored by Reps. Nan Hayworth (R-N.Y.), Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) and Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), will prevent federal housing regulators from adopting policies that contravene established state and local property assessed clean energy laws.

"It's not just a win-win situation, but win-win-win: homeowners get the benefit of lower utility bills; workers in the stagnating construction industry get jobs; and the nation gets the benefit of increased energy efficiency and reduced energy costs," said the bill sponsors in a joint statement.

The bill has been referred to the House Financial Services Committee, but a timeframe for committee action has not yet been determined. NLC supports this bill.

"Support for this important legislation is critical for local governments, like Cleveland, to allow our residents to pay for renewable energy efficiency improvements such as geothermal HVAC and solar installations in residential and commercial districts," said Cleveland Councilman Matt Zone, chair of NLC's Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Advocacy Committee. …

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