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Governor Crist Signs PACE in to Law
May 31, 2010

 

On Thursday, May 27, 2010, Governor Charlie Crist signed HB 7179 in to law. The legislation allows local governments to establish Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs. The legislation took effect with the Governor’s approval. Local governments, after passing an ordinance or adopting a resolution, can loan property owners money to make energy conservation and efficiency, renewable energy or wind resistance improvements to their property and then repay the loans through a non-ad valorem assessment on their property tax bills. Republican and Democratic leaders supported the bill saying that it would help homeowners afford renewable energy.

The PACE program is an innovative way for Florida’s property owners and governments to work together to increase Florida’s energy efficiency and promote energy conservation, energy security and the reduction of greenhouse gases. Funding for Florida’s proposed PACE program comes from proceeds of a revenue bond issuance.

The Florida Solar Energy Industries Association (FlaSEIA) actively supported the bill and immediately created an ad-hoc committee to oversee its implementation. Committee Chairman Reed Wilson and his committee will be providing periodical updates and information on PACE to FlaSEIA members.

The PACE legislation was the last bill to pass during the 2010 Legislative Session. There is substantial interest throughout the state from county commissioners, town mayors, state representatives, as well as solar energy contractors, air-conditioning companies, banks and many more in the new law. House Majority leader Adam Hasner has suggested holding a PACE Summit where all stakeholders can come together and learn how to best implement the program in their area. FlaSEIA is currently working with Representative Hasner and is assisting him in organizing a PACE Summit. The faster the summit happens, the sooner jobs will be created, precious resources conserved, renewable energy promoted, and carbon footprint reduced — all with no impact on the pocketbooks of the citizens of Florida.

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