Solar Energy in the Midwest

Archive for the ‘PACE’ Category

Impact of Solar Panels on Electric Bills – FANTASTIC … Thanks DTE – Solar Currents

Impact of Solar Panels on Electric Bills – FANTASTIC … Thanks DTE – Solar Currents.

This chart from the DTE Web Site shows my monthly electric bill for heating and cooling our house.  The right axis is Heating Degree Days which are a measure of how much (in degrees), and for how long (in days), the outside air temperature was below a certain level.  They are commonly used in calculations relating to the energy consumption required to heat buildings.  723 Spring Street has 4,200 square feet of conditioned space on four levels.  Since having put in the 8.6 kW solar panel system last fall, we have been near net-zero energy over the five month period.  The kWh surplus from the solar panels more than offsets the electrical consumption of the (to read full article click on title above).

Great to see the results of our systems by our customers. Thanks Scott for sharing! – Val


Powerful Solar Financing Program For Homeowners Gets Reprieve – Forbes

Powerful Solar Financing Program For Homeowners Gets Reprieve – Forbes.

Justin Gerdes, Contributor   Independent journalist specializing in energy and the environment

Last week, two events gave notice that rumors of the death of PACE financing, one of the most promising policies available to fund energy retrofits, have been greatly exaggerated.

On January 20, a federal district court in California ordered the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to initiate a “full-blown” rulemaking process on PACE financing. Yesterday, the notice of the proposed rulemaking was published in the Federal Register. The week before, on January 19, San Diego-based Figtree Energy Resource Company announced a deal involving a first-of-its-kind, multi-city commercial PACE bond.


First, some back story.


Rarely have energy policy wonks been so excited. In October 2007, that City of Berkeley announced its intention to create what it called a Sustainable Energy Financing District. Based on an idea credited to Cisco DeVries, then chief of staff to Mayor Tom Bates, the scheme appeared to offer a breathtakingly simple and elegant solution to a seemingly intractable problem: the steep upfront cost of clean energy and efficiency projects.


PACE financing offers homeowners a way to install energy upgrades, such as rooftop solar panels, without the steep upfront costs. Credit: groSolar/DOE


PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) programs, as DeVries’ brainchild are now known, proliferated; today, legislation enabling the programs has been passed in 27 states. PACE financing enables property owners to take out a loan, usually via city- or state-organized bonds, to pay for solar panels, insulation, energy-efficient HVAC systems, or other improvements. Loans are repaid, typically over 20 years, through an annual supplemental property tax assessment.


DeVries’ beautiful solution, however, soon hit a snag. In July 2010, FHFA ordered Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac not to underwrite mortgages for homes with PACE loans. FHFA was concerned that in most states with PACE programs the liens resulting from the PACE program loans have priority over mortgages – the PACE lender would be paid ahead of the bank, or Fannie or Freddie, in the case of foreclosure.   Read More

Comment: Scary to read about a huge glitch in great financing opportunity. Ann Arbor has implemented the PACE program but only for commercial/business buildings so this is not going to affect this area much but hopefully this can be straightened out federally so the program can be extended to homeowners in Ann Arbor as well. – Val


Application fees set for Ann Arbor’s new PACE program

Application fees set for Ann Arbor’s new PACE program.

By Ryan J. Stanton
Political Reporter

The Ann Arbor City Council on Monday supported the final step to fully implement the city’s new Property Assessed Clean Energy program.

A resolution approved by council sets the application fees for the PACE program, which is a special financing mechanism to help commercial property owners in Ann Arbor undertake energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Through the PACE program, qualifying property owners are able to borrow money for energy efficiency projects ranging from $10,000 to $350,000 and then pay back the loans through special assessments added onto their tax bills for up to 10 years.


Andrew Brix

The program is a joint effort of the city of Ann Arbor and Clean Energy Coalition. City officials believe the availability of PACE financing will support economic stimulation across the city, create jobs and reduce operating costs for business owners.For full article go to: Link

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