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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 13, 2016 04:09 PM
From: Senator John P. Blake and Sen. Guy Reschenthaler
To: All Senate members
Subject: PA Property Assessed Clean Energy Program - PACE
Soon, we plan to reintroduce Senate Bill 1069 from the 2015-16 legislative session, which would establish Pennsylvania’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. Currently, 33 states plus the District of Columbia authorize PACE financing for clean energy and energy efficiency projects; this includes a diverse group of states such as Alabama, California, Georgia, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Texas.

PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) is a financing mechanism that enables low-cost, long-term funding for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation upgrades to commercial or industrial properties. The upfront capital is then paid back in the form of a voluntary property tax assessment on the specific, improved building. PACE can pay for new heating and cooling systems, lighting improvements, solar panels, water pumps and insulation. It is an economic development tool that enhances property values and employment opportunities, lowers the cost of doing business, expands the use of energy saving technologies.

A local government chooses to participate in or develop a PACE financing program, so the program is voluntary. PACE financing does not require any public funds – in fact, general obligation debt financing is prohibited. Local communities merely collect the assessment on the improved building and remit it for payment on the debt incurred from the building’s energy-efficiency and clean energy technology upgrades.

Presently, the upfront cost of installing energy-efficient or clean energy technology can be prohibitive. Our legislation provides a common sense, market-driven, and voluntary solution to this problem – one that has proven to work across the United States.

This bipartisan legislation supported by numerous stakeholders, including the following:

BlueGreen Alliance
Conservation Consultants Inc. (CCI)
Delaware Valley Green Building Council (DVGBC)
Energy Coordinating Agency (ECA)
The Efficiency Network (TEN)
First Fuel Software Inc.
Honeywell Building Solutions
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Third District and Locals 5, 81, 229, 712
Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance (KEEA)
MaGrann Associates
National Electrical Contractor Association (NECA), Western PA and Penn-Del-Jersey Chapters
Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
The Nature Conservancy, Pennsylvania Chapter
Penn Future
Pennsylvania Municipal League
Pennsylvania Solar Energy Industries Association (PASEIA)
Pittsburgh City Council
SmartWatt Energy Inc.
Solar Unified Network of Western Pennsylvania (SUNWPA)

Co-sponsors in the prior session included Senators Brewster, Tartaglione, Sabatina, Fontana, Yudichak, Costa, Boscola, Haywood, Browne, Hughes, Argall and Scavello. We would encourage these members to sign on to this memo, once again, and we welcome additional co-sponsors. Please join us co-sponsoring this critical legislation.

Introduced as SB234