You may have never heard of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), but it has the potential to make a huge difference in adoption of distributed renewable energy systems, such as rooftop solar installations. PACE allows businesses to borrow money from local governments to work on energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in the buildings they occupy.
Since PACE is funding is loans, there is no real expense to the taxpayer. On the other side of the coin, it allows businesses to spread out the costs of becoming more environmentally friendly over time, all while lowering their monthly utility costs. This strategy is a win-win-win for Texans. Business save money, the environment benefits, and it cost Texans nothing.
The Texas Legislature is currently considering legislation that would move PACE forward for our state. Senate bill 385 has already cleared the hurdle of the Texas Senate, and now is pending in our House of Representatives. House bill 1094 is still waiting be voted out of the House Committee on Energy Resources. The House should move forward to adopt this common sense measure.
As of 2013, 27 states and the District of Columbia have PACE legislation on the books to help combat harmful emissions from electric generation. States from California to Wyoming have enacted PACE programs. Generally, in these states, the financing terms are 15-20 years. It works very much like taking out a home loan, or perhaps a better example would be a home improvement loan, but for commercial properties. Disbursing the payments over a longer period of time makes these efficiency upgrades affordable for a wider variety of business. It also makes upgrades attainable for smaller businesses.
I urge fellow Texans to get in touch with their State Representative and tell him or her to support the PACE bills (HB 1094 and SB 385). This is common sense legislation that benefits everyone.