San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom signed new legislation yesterday allowing homeowners and businesses to finance eco-friendly upgrades through their property taxes. It is reported that the program is the largest of its kind, and the Mayor hopes it will start a trend among local government agencies. Supporters of the program hope it will create jobs in the San Francisco area as well.
"This green financing program is going to create green jobs and prompt the next wave of energy and water efficiency as well as renewable energy development in San Francisco," Newsom said in a statement. "It helps home and property owners overcome the large up-front costs of major environmental improvements."
Beginning in March, San Franciscans will be able to seek financing from the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, which will make $150 million in bonds available, according to Renewable Funding, a private group that will put up the capital and administer the program at no cost to the city.
"San Francisco is once again leading the way by establishing the largest PACE program in the nation to date," said Cisco DeVries, president of Renewable Funding, based in Oakland.
Studies show that up-front costs are often the main barrier that keeps property owners from making green upgrades. PACE programs aim to remove that barrier.