The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded New York communities $40 million in federal stimulus funds to help property owners implement energy-efficiency projects and small-scale renewable energy projects.
New York City and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and a consortium of 14 northern Westchester towns, led by Bedford, N.Y., received grant awards through the federal Retrofit Ramp-Up Program.
In their grant applications, the jurisdictions proposed using the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), which allows property owners to pay off the projects through an incremental charge on their property taxes over an extended period of time of up to 20 years.
Current New York law, however, only authorizes use of the PACE program with federal funds, Vote Solar points out. The organization believes the state should expand this economic opportunity to more New Yorkers by amending the existing legislation to allow cities, counties and towns throughout the state to leverage federally supported programs with more funds, and for others to implement such programs with other funding sources, including private funding sources.
Doing so would also create significant business opportunities for the mortgage banking community, which can participate in various stages of the PACE financing system, Vote Solar adds.
SOURCE: Vote Solar