Consumer Protection Framework Provides Model for Other States
PACENation applauded California Governor Jerry Brown for signing into law landmark legislation, AB 1284 and SB 242, that strengthens residential PACE financing through a comprehensive consumer protection and regulatory framework. The bills, which passed with overwhelming bi-partisan support, provide important new standards that will strengthen and improve PACE financing for homeowners across California, and can serve as a model for other states.
“We hope that policymakers in other states will look to this model PACE legislation,” said David Gabrielson, Executive Director of PACENation. “These new laws provide critical safeguards that will help PACE programs scale responsibly in communities around the country. By basing underwriting on income and ability-to-pay, requiring a comprehensive suite of consumer protections, and mandating program reporting to public agencies, PACE will better serve homeowners and local communities in saving energy and making a positive impact on the environment.
“PACENation would like to thank the coalition of environmental organizations, consumer advocates, business leaders, clean energy groups, public officials, and others who worked together to see this legislation become law,” said Gabrielson.
“There’s never been a more important time to support programs that curb greenhouse gas emissions and empower citizens to limit their role in climate change,” said Victoria Rome, California legislative director with the Natural Resources Defense Council. “PACE is making a real difference in reducing the carbon footprint of our residential buildings. And AB 1284 and SB 242 will strengthen the marketplace by establishing clear, enforceable statewide consumer protection and regulatory framework. It’s a win-win for homeowners and the environment.”
AB 1284, co-authored by Assembly Member Dababneh, Senator Skinner, and Assembly Member Ian Calderon, strengthens PACE underwriting, creates a state regulatory structure for PACE, and enforces compliance with all PACE laws by PACE administrators and individual contractors. Importantly, AB 1284 recognizes the unique, voluntary municipal assessment based structure of PACE financing – and regulates it accordingly.
SB 242, co-authored by Senator Nancy Skinner and Assembly Member Matt Dababneh, creates comprehensive consumer protections that further differentiate PACE from other forms of financing.
SB 242 was strongly supported by League of Conservation Voters California and Efficiency Demand Management Council – and both bills were strongly supported by Sierra Club California, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense Fund, Advanced Energy Economy, California Solar Energy Industries Association, Vote Solar, Climate Action Campaign, Brightline Defense, Build It Green, California Energy Storage Association, Center for Sustainable Energy, and Cleantech San Diego. In addition, a host of local government leaders and the California League of Cities and California State Association of Counties were on board.
PACENation is a national non-profit organization serving the interests and needs of over 400 member organizations that share a common goal of making PACE financing available to all building owners throughout the United States. PACENation is building a broader PACE network by providing information, resources, and advice to a growing universe of PACE market stakeholders. To learn more, visit http://www.PACENation.us
Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is a financing mechanism that enables low-cost, long-term funding for energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation projects. PACE financing is repaid as an assessment on the property’s regular tax bill, and is processed the same way as other local public benefit assessments (sidewalks, sewers) have been for decades. Depending on local legislation, PACE can be used for commercial, nonprofit and residential properties. For more information, visit http://www.pacenation.us
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