Property Assessed Clean Energy Act To Be Reviewed by the City of Austin
- Jun 21, 2013
By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor
Texas legislation was modified on June 19 by Governor Rick Perry to allow commercial and industrial building owners to access low-cost, long-term financing in the private sector for energy-efficiency upgrades and water conservation. With his signature the PACE program became effective immediately.
PACE (the Property Assessed Clean Energy Act) is an initiative that is pro-businesses, pro-jobs and pro-environment, offering government loans for periods of up to 20 years to existing structures on residential, commercial, industrial, or other real property. More details about the program can be found on Keeping PACE in Texas.
To access the program, those interested have to present an improvement project to a third party administrator employed by the government. The review results must show that the utility savings reimburse the initial investment. The administrator then sets the property tax assessment and coordinates execution of the contract that will link the parties to the program and the project. For the banks financing the project, the program reduces risk, especially if they are to finance it directly.
Austin has joined forces with Travis County to set up a PACE program, as this could help the city lower its operating costs through more comprehensive energy and water conservation, Council Member Chris Riley told the Austin Business Journal. In collaboration with Council Member Bill Spelman, a solution is being developed that would allow the city’s legal department to take steps on a PACE program for Austin. Businesses and building owners have been encouraged to get involved in the future stakeholder meetings as this topic has been added to the discussion agenda.
Photo credits: www.pacelegislation.com