Creating Special Purpose Districts to Finance Energy Improvements
S.668 gives local governing bodies the ability to create a clean energy financing program (C-PACE program – commercial-property assessed clean energy program). The program would work like this:
- The governing body would create a clean energy financing district.
- Any commercial property owner whose property is within the district and meets certain guidelines may apply to be part of the program.
- A third-party energy audit is conducted on the property to scope out energy recommendations for the improvements he has in mind.
- Provided the recommended improvements are within the scope of the statute, the governing body and the property owner enter into a contract, subject to the approval of all mortgage holders. The governing body establishes a lien against the property in exchange for financing the energy improvements. The lien works like typical liens and cannot be established for more than 20 years.
While clean energy improvements are commendable, it is the role of property owners to finance them, not the role of government at any level. This would be a very ill-advised expenditure of taxpayer dollars and an inappropriate interference in the private sector.