A year ago, Gov. Chris Christie issued a conditional veto
that cut the heart of legislation that would have enabled property owners in New Jersey to obtain 10 to 30-year private financing (through special assessments attached to municipal property taxes).
That financing would have covered 100 percent of the cost of the installation 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 explain 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.
See: NJ Gov gets bill to boost private, clean-energy investment
Now the Obama administration is trying to bring it back to life
Grist writer Heather Smith explains:
The Property Assessed Clean Energy program, known as PACE, was created in 2007 when Berkeley, California, realized the same tools used by neighborhoods to pay for big projects like street paving could also be used to pay for installing solar panels. People in homes with panels had to pay more in property taxes, but they saved money through lower energy bills.