Vermont speeds up the PACE on energy efficiency

Source: Brattleboro Reformer, July 9, 2011, Howard Weiss-Tisman The PACE legislation was supported by the VAHC this year. Below is a recent article talking about the passing of the legislation and the coming benefits of the Property Assessed Clean Energy Program for homeowners throughout Vermont. “WESTMINSTER — Early next year, Vermont will become the only state in the country to move ahead with a national program that allows property owners to borrow money against their tax assessments to fund energy efficiency projects. The Property Assessed Clean Energy Program, or PACE, gives property owners access to low interest loans to pay for energy efficiency projects by pegging the money to the property tax assessments. The money is paid back through the tax payments, and so the loans stay with the properties, if the home is sold. The program was put on hold across the country in July 2010 after the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which writes about half the mortgages in the nation, said it would not accept mortgages with the PACE program attached to them. FHFA saw the PACE program as one more problem in an ever widening housing crisis across the nation, and their ruling effectively shut the program down. During the 2011 legislative session Vermont lawmakers were able to write a bill that satisfied all of the concerns of the federal housing lending agency. Peter Adamczyk, Energy Finance and Development Manager at the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, said he has received verification from FHFA that the Vermont bill is acceptable, and Adamczyk is working with towns across the state to get the program back on track. Before property owners can access the funding, towns must vote to approve the energy districts. So far 13 towns have already voted for the districts, including Putney, Halifax, Marlboro and Westminster in Windham County. Another 40 have begun discussions, and Adamczyk said the new law should help property owners begin to access the money for energy efficiency projects. “This program is very much alive,” Adamczyk said. “The legislation addresses all of the issues and Vermonters should soon be able to access money for energy efficiency projects at reasonable costs.” The changes take effect on Jan. 1, 2012…” Full Story: Vermont speeds up the PACE on energy efficiency PDF of Story: Vermont speeds up the PACE on energy efficiency

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