|Posted:||July 27, 2015 11:43 AM|
|From:||Senator John P. Blake|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Penn-STAR Program: Sustainable Technology Assistance for Retrofits Act|
|In the near future, I plan to assume prime sponsorship of legislation which was to be authored by our friend and former Senator, Matt Smith prior to his departure. This legislation was SB1352 of the 2013-2014 legislative session. This legislation would establish the Municipal Financing of Consumer Energy Projects Loan Program by adding a new Chapter to Title 53 entitled: “PennSTAR-Sustainable Technology Assistance for Retrofits Act.”
This legislation would allow municipalities to establish a new authority or designate an existing authority for the purpose of making loans to commercial and industrial real estate owners to retrofit their property with energy-efficient technology, as stipulated by the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act (P.L. 1672, No.213). The loan would then be repaid as an assessment on their property taxes with the tenure of a mortgage. Funds for these programs would be raised by a bond issuance or municipal appropriation, and would operate on a revolving basis. There is also a provision that allows the Secretary of DCED to establish a “Sustainable Technology Assistance Zone” and allow properties within those zones to receive preferential treatment under the Alternative Energy Investment Act, administered through the Commonwealth Financing Authority.
While a tremendous amount of money can be saved from having energy-efficient technology installed, the upfront cost can be prohibitive. My legislation provides a common sense, market-driven, and voluntary solution to this problem.
These loans are referred to as “PACE” loans in other states. Currently, there are 25 active commercial PACE Programs in 10 states and the District of Columbia. Sixteen programs have funded commercial PACE projects. The commercial PACE market is growing and evolving.
Co-sponsors this session included Senators Brewster, Browne, Costa, Farnese, Fontana, Hughes, Leach, and Yudichak. I would encourage these members to sign on to this memo, once again. I would also welcome additional co-sponsors.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this critical legislation. If you have any questions about this legislation please contact my office at 717-787-6481.
Introduced as SB1069