Tuesday, April 6, 2010

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES: PACE bonds

Question/Comment: A resident thinks that PACE bonds, which provide financing for residential and business investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, look like something Somerville would be interested in and the resident would love to know what the Mayor and the Aldermen think of this idea.  

Additionally, another interested resident would like to know if there has been any discussion with the Somerville members of the General Court regarding PACE Bonding? Rather than simply defer a yes or no decision to existing circumstances, he suggests the City explore changing those circumstances. He would also like to know if there has there been discussion with the Cambridge Energy Alliance or the cape green activist groups, both of whom might support that kind of bond? Or with the Patrick administration?

You can read more about PACE bonds at these websites: http://pacenow.org/ & http://www.renewfund.com/pace/definition-history

City Update 4/6/10:  There is currently no legal authority in Massachusetts or the US to use PACE bonds.  These bonds were pioneered in California, and legislation has been introduced in several other states to allow municipalities to use this financing mechanism.  The City's Office of Sustainability and Environment is very interested in the Massachusetts legislation that would authorize municipalities to use these bonds and have been following its progress.  PACE bonds are something that the City would consider as part of an energy efficiency program within Somerville, if it were legally available for the City’s use.

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