Wednesday, July 14, 2010

CA Attorney General, Jerry Brown, Sues Feds over PACE

Today at the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) a press conference was held by California State Attorney General and former Governor, Jerry Brown.

Brown has announced that he is suing the Federal Housing Finance Agency as they recently put the kibosh on Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs across the nation, programs that allows property owners to pay for energy upgrades over time through special tax assessments.

On July 6, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued a statement saying that PACE assessments would put unusual risk on on Private Mortgage Companies, like government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae (FNMA) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (A.K.A. Freddie Mac).

“Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac received enormous federal bailouts but now they’re throwing up impermeable barriers to bank lending that creates jobs, stimulates the economy and boosts clean energy,” - Says Brown.

In tandem with local and state officials from San Diego City Council's, Marti Emerald and Mayor Jerry Sanders, to County Supervisors, like Pam Slater-Price and Diane Jacob, Jerry Brown called for a common sense approach that will jump start our new economy.

Even State Assemblyman, Marty Block put in his two cents. Yet, the only Federal Presence was Congressional Candidate, Ray Lutz, an electrical engineer who combats the power of big energy utilities. We need to speak to our Federal Politicians, and get them to take their foot off the breaks.

You can add your independent voice to the call for a new clean energy revolution by writing your Federal Representatives about PACE.

PACE programs are an important part of the puzzle, a necessary financing tool to allow building efficiency work and renewable energy upgrades in these tough economic times.

"These PACE programs are literally the catalyst, our sustainable future is waiting."

When these PACE programs become regular practice, we will see thousands of new jobs and hundreds of new industries move forward, as our energy economy shifts to efficient renewable energy sources.

    Three important points about these programs:

  • First, all PACE programs should follow established Department of Energy (DOE) "Best Practices" Guidelines for PACE Programs.
  • They must include third party Energy Audits and require property owners to decrease waste before adding expensive renewable generation, like Solar Photovoltaic Systems.
  • Because they use local property assessments as financing guarinetees, they should require a 'loading order' for energy imporovements that requires the largest 'bang-for-the-buck'.  
For example, after energy efficiency and insulation envelopes are inspected, Solar Thermal Hot Water is the biggest energy saver and more cost efficient than Photovoltaic Electricity. Unless the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning system is efficient, all the Solar Panels in the world are just decretive ornamentation.

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