Saturday, June 27, 2015

NJ Gov gets bill to boost private, clean-energy investment

Now on the desk of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is A-2579/S-1510, legislation that would enable property owners to obtain 10 to 30-year private financing (through special assessments attached to municipal property taxes) to cover 100 percent of the cost of clean energy and resiliency improvements without any initial investment by the property owner.

Those involved with the national PACE (Property Assessment Clean Energy) program say that it gives property owners the ability to install more extensive systems than they likely could afford under traditional financing programs and that the resulting saving in energy costs often outpaces the financing costs from day one of the project.

The PACE program, which has had significant success in states like California and Connecticut. was hailed by a number of commercial developers, investors, energy construction companies and public officials at a seminar held on June 12 to boost the legislation's chance of passage.

Panelists at the event, held at Princeton University, included former NJ Governor Jim Florio, NJBPU Commissioner Upendra Chivukula, State Senator Bob Smith, Jersey City Deputy Mayor Marcos Vigil, executives from the Simon Property Group, MSLGroup, NJ Builders Association and others.

At the time of the seminar, PACE executives were concerned that the state legislature might recess for the summer before their bill cleared both houses, but final legislative passage was secured on June 25 in the Senate (36-1) and Assembly (63-9-3).

Now the question is whether Governor Christie will sign it. He pocket vetoed a PACE bill at the end of the previous legislative session but changes were made to the bill this year to address potential concerns.

In the videos above, NJ Builders Association President George Vallone and PACE co-founder Victoria Zelin highlight features of the program.

Jon Hurdle of NJ Spotlight covered the June 12 seminar and filed a detailed story here.  

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