So you’re a home or business owner who wants to do right by the environment. But rainwater harvesting tanks, solar panels, wind turbines and even better insulation costs money–and in today’s cash-strapped economy, where there’s a will there’s not always a way. Well now there’s good news, at least if you’re a resident of the Bay Area: the City of San Francisco, in partnership with Renewable Funding of Oakland, has recently launched the nation’s largest Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, aimed at providing financing for home and business-owners to go green.
The GreenFinance SF program, which went into effect earlier this month, in funded in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and allows San Francisco private property owners to finance water conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements through a voluntary property assessment, which will be paid in full within 20 years. In this model–already in place in Minnesota, and expected to launch in Louisiana, New Mexico, Maryland, and hundreds of additional cities and counties throughout California by the end of the year–repayment obligation of the “green loan” is attached to the property, rather than the individual, and is paid back through property taxes over the life of the financing.
“GreenFinanceSF is not only the nation’s largest PACE program, but also can be a model for how to encourage home energy retrofits,” said Cisco DeVries, president of Renewable Funding, in a statement. “GreenFinanceSF protects homeowners and lenders while creating green jobs, reducing utility bills, and dramatically increasing the efficiency of energy use.” Interested in what kind of projects are eligible? Check out the GreenFinanceSF website.