Carlsbad, CA Offers Programs to Help Property Owners Finance Energy-Saving Systems

ARTICLE | Dec 16, 2013

The City of Carlsbad is helping residents and businesses install environmentally sustainable energy and water projects by participating in programs that offer financing options.

The programs, known as PACE, for “Property Assessed Clean Energy,” help property owners finance projects that can save energy and money while improving their property values at little or no upfront cost, because the projects are paid through the property tax bill.

Through PACE, property owners can finance renewable energy projects, such as photovoltaic solar panels, and pay for the improvements in installments on their property tax bills. That enables owners who install the system to realize savings on their utility bills immediately without worrying about bearing the full upfront cost of the projects.

“PACE financing reduces one of the barriers that prevents people from doing energy conservation, water conservation or renewable energy projects: paying large installation costs and waiting years for their return on investment,” said City of Carlsbad Senior Planner Mike Grim. “With PACE, you pay only as long as you own the house. Once you sell, the payments pass to the new owner.”

The City Council joined two financing authorities that residents and businesses can use to finance their clean energy projects.

One is Figtree PACE, which offers Property Assessed Clean Energy financing for both residential and non-residential properties, and is administered by Figtree Energy Financing, a for-profit corporation based in San Diego. The San Diego County Board of Supervisors joined the Figtree PACE program in August, and the California Enterprise Development Authority began implementing the program for the county in September, making county residents eligible for Figtree financing. For information on Figtree financing, click here.

The other is the California HERO (Home Energy Renovation Opportunity) program, which is authorized through the Western Riverside Council of Governments and administered by Renovate America, a for-profit corporation based in San Diego County. California HERO can provide financing for both residential and commercial properties, and also offers financing for infrastructure to charge electric vehicles. For information on the California HERO program, click here.

“The City of Carlsbad is committed to offering residents and business owners opportunities to improve their properties’ energy profile by reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, and their energy costs” said Grim.

In November the city teamed with the California Center for Sustainable Energy to host a free workshop to provide information about the fundamentals of solar electricity and incentives offered through the California Solar Initiative program. About 100 people attended that workshop to learn how to calculate their energy use and size a solar system for their home.

There are no fiscal impacts to the City of Carlsbad for joining the California HERO or Figtree PACE program.

To learn more about the city’s efforts to improve environmental sustainability, click here.

For more information, please contact: Mike Grim, 760-602-4623, mike.grim@carlsbadca.gov or Kristina Ray, 760-434-2957, kristina.ray@carlsbadca.gov.

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