In case you haven’t heard, Property Assessed Clean Energy programs have picked up the …. well, they’ve picked up the PACE. And just in the nick of time, as many federally-funded clean energy programs are running out of steam. Thirty states, including six in the Southeast, have enacted PACE-enabling legislation that gives local and state governments the authority to fund a property owner’s upfront costs for renewable energy system installations and energy efficiency improvements, enabling repayment through property assessments. These assessments are secured by the property itself and are paid as an addition to the owners’ property tax bills. Although residential PACE programs were initially off to a slow start, recently launched programs in California, Missouri, New York and Texas reveal that residential PACE, like its commercial PACE counterpart, might just take us across the clean energy finish line.
by Adam C. Parker
Adam Parker is a law clerk at the North Carolina Court of Appeals. He was formerly a summer law clerk with the UNC School of Government. Adam graduated from the UNC MPA Program in 2010 and UNC Law in 2013.
In 2012, Jeff Hughes and I published a paper that compared PACE and the culture of special assessments in three states: North Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Several items have occurred that are relevant to PACE and special assessments in North Carolina, which are updated in a revised version of the paper found here. For a brief summary of the paper, please also see Matt Harris’s blog post here.
This post summarizes the major changes to both the authority of the underlying financing instrument behind PACE in North Carolina, the special assessment, as well as some items of interest that have occurred nationally which affect PACE, particularly in the residential setting.