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New PACE Bill to be Introduced in US Congress to Fix FHFA Problems; Will Fix Help Us to Get Indiana PACE Program? July 14, 2011

Posted by Laura Arnold in Uncategorized.
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Dear Readers:

Here is a message we just received from Adam Browning with Vote Solar. Although IDEA doesn’t always agree with everything that Vote Solar does, e.g. their less than enthusiastic support for feed-in tariffs, we do support these efforts to get PACE programs around the country back on track.

Here in Indiana, efforts to enact a PACE-like program in Indiana were derailed during the 2011 session of the Indiana General Assembly. Neither SB 260 introduced by Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) nor HB 1457 introduced by Rep. Tim Neese (R-Elkhart) –both proposing to create clean energy finance districts–passed during the 2011 session.

Perhaps introduction of this legislation will re-energize the discussion about an Indiana PACE program.

Laura Ann Arnold

Friends

We are writing with good news.  Remember PACE, the innovative energy financing program that ran into a roadblock because of objections by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)? Well, next week legislation will be introduced in Congress to fix the situation.

TAKE ACTION.

The “PACE Assessment Protection Act of 2011,” to be introduced imminently by Congresspersons Nan Hayworth, Daniel Lungren and Mike Thompson (bi-partisan!), addresses potential concerns by establishing strict underwriting criteria and lender protections.  It guarantees that PACE assessments will only be allowed for credit-worthy participants, and that improvements must be revenue positive.  Details here.

In return, FHFA and other federal agencies simply have to back off, and let the 27 states that have passed enabling legislation for PACE programs get to work reducing energy use, saving homeowners money, and creating jobs.  Seems like a fair deal.

We know that the program works: jurisdictions with PACE programs report higher construction and green job activity (Links here, here (pdf), and here)

And of the 2,565 homes with PACE assessments currently in place around the country, we know of only 2 defaults.  That’s 1/30th of the national average default rate–which is to be expected, as PACE lowers the cost of living, and puts homeowner in a better financial position.  The irony is that PACE saves FHFA money, too.

This bill doesn’t cost money, doesn’t impose any government mandates, or touch non-participants’ taxes.

The bill does restore states rights, does leverage private capital, and puts America to work saving homeowners money.

What’s not to like?  Let’s pass this sucker: stop reading this email, and get on the horn to ask your representative to be a co-sponsor.

TAKE ACTION NOW.

While this is helpful for solar, it will do a lot for energy efficiency too, and energy efficiency is no joke.

Onwards-
Adam + Team
The Vote Solar Initiative
300 Brannan Street, Suite 609
San Francisco, CA 94107
www.votesolar.org
http://twitter.com/votesolar

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