PACE is a program that is supported by Republicans and Democrats as an effective path for using the property taxing power of local government to create local jobs, reduce consumers’ electric bills and improve air quality. It works by allowing a property owner to borrow money to install energy efficiency equipment and roof top solar panels and to then pay back the loan through their property taxes. If the property owner sells the home or building, the new owner continues to pay for the loan through property taxes. BUT, now the same government agencies that have contributed to the meltdown of our real estate values have stopped PACE, claiming it is a threat to the integrity of the mortgage industry.
Cisco DeVries helped conceptualize PACE while serving as an assistant to the Mayor of Berkeley, California. (In February I wrote an article on how Republican Palm Desert deployed PACE to create local jobs, lower consumers’ electric bills and protect their pristine desert air.) He started a company called Renewable Funding to enable other cities like Berkeley and Palm Desert in the start-up of their PACE program. In this video interview he outlines the urgent need for voter input with their Congressional representatives to restore a program that in this recession was actually creating jobs and lowering the cost of home ownership.
The concept of “Buy Local, Buy Green” is growing local jobs. PACE was emerging as a key tool for a local community in the financing of investments that restored jobs, the economy and their environment. The encouragement I take from my earlier video interviews with Charles McGlashon, Chairperson for Marin Energy Authority on selling competitively priced renewable energy and with Cisco DeVries is that as Americans we can create the solutions we need to enhance our economy and environment. The American free enterprise system, enabled with legislation like California’s AB32 that caps greenhouse gas emissions or innovations like PACE, affords a path for creating the local jobs, economic development and environmental restoration we so desperately need.