DATE: October 10, 2013
MEDIA CONTACT: Dr. Nancy Gassman, Broward County
Natural Resources Administrator, Natural Resources Planning and Management Division
BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Until this week, Broward residents interested in saving energy by replacing air conditioners or installing solar panels had to have money in hand to perform the retrofit. Financing options to help defray the upfront costs for these energy efficiency improvements were limited. That changed on Tuesday, October 8, 2013, when the Broward County Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to establish a commercial and residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program. The County received permission to engage vendors to administer the programs which will be available once Broward County enters into these agreements in about six months.
PACE programs allow property owners to pay for the cost of energy improvements and wind mitigation measures to their homes or businesses through a voluntary assessment on their property tax bill. This assessment stays with the property when it is sold since the new owner continues to receive the benefit and cost savings of the improvements.
“This program will move us into the future. There are those who want desperately to make home improvements that are energy efficient and will add to the value of their property but they don't have any finance mechanisms in order to move forward. We need to make sure that we're creating an environment where they have that opportunity and that's what these programs represent,” said Broward County Mayor Kristin Jacobs.
PACE programs promote economic development and expansion of a green economy, and support a community’s ongoing efforts to reduce utility costs, save energy and encourage the use of renewable energy, such as solar.
Broward County’s PACE programs will be offered through Ygrene Energy Fund Florida and EcoCity Partners, L3Cpartners. These programs operate on private capital, not taxpayer dollars, and will broaden access to affordable finance strategies to advance energy efficiency improvements, renewable energy options, and wind mitigation measures in existing structures.
Broward County became interested in pursuing energy efficiency financing programs several years ago, following the adoption of new state legislation in June 2010 related to the authorization of local property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing programs.