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.