Yesterday (May14) Chula Vista, Calif., introduced Clean Energy Chula Vista, its new PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) program. The PACE program allows homeowners to finance their solar or energy retrofits through an assessment on their property that is repaid as part of their property tax.
PACE programs were expected to take off as a way to finance home solar a while back but Fannie Mea, which holds a majority of home loans throughout the country said years ago that PACE agreements could invalidate its loans to homeowners throughout the country. That put a chill through the industry and halted many PACE programs before they were able to get going. However over the past few years they’ve been starting to pop back up.
Chula Vista, however, said it is the first city in the county to establish its own independently administered PACE program. “Clean Energy Chula Vista is open for funding today, providing no-cost financing to all qualified property owners in the city, including homeowners, commercial, agricultural and multi-family dwellings,” said Crystal Crawford, regional director of YGrene Energy Fund, who has partnered with the city to administer the program. The city will host an informational workshop on the PACE program June 28 to help residents understand the program.
At the same time the city commissioned a total 500 kilowatts of solar projects installed on three of its buildings. “Chula Vista is dedicated not only to reducing governments’ greenhouse emissions, but also to help residents and their ability to adopter alternative energy and implement efficiency efforts that result in financing savings,” said Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox.
The arrays were installed by Sullivan Solar Power, using solar modules manufactured less than 12 miles from the installation site. "The initiatives that Chula Vista are leading provide not only environmental benefits and financial savings, but also economic growth to the region,” said Daniel Sullivan, Sullivan Solar Power president. “The three city solar projects provided work for 23 full-time Sullivan Solar Power employees, making fair living wages.”
The city received a $619,959 rebate check for the solar arrays it installed. Sullivan Solar Power said the arrays will save the city over $4.1 million over their lifespans. The city will invest the rebate and the savings in road repairs and other business.Tweet