HARRISBURG, Pa. (May 23, 2018) – A bill passed today by the Pennsylvania House would help enable commercial building owners to make investments in their buildings to reduce energy and water use and install clean energy upgrades at their facilities. Senate Bill 234, a bipartisan bill authored by State Sens. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) and Guy Reschenthaler (R-Allegheny/Washington), would establish a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program in the state. Under the bill, local units of government could develop a PACE program to provide low-cost, long-term funding for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation upgrades to commercial or industrial properties. The money is then paid back in the form of a voluntary property tax assessment on the specific improved building, accruing no cost to taxpayers. Participating local communities would collect the assessment on the improved building and use that to pay the debt incurred from the building’s energy-efficiency and clean energy technology upgrades.
“PACE will help our state by creating good jobs, boosting energy and water efficiency efforts in commercial and industrial buildings, and helping to ensure that businesses can remain competitive in an increasingly global marketplace,” said Khari Mosley, regional program manager for the BlueGreen Alliance. “PACE is a smart idea that’s time has come in our state.”
PACE can pay for new heating and cooling systems, lighting improvements, solar panels, water pumps, and insulation. It is an economic development tool that enhances property values and employment opportunities, lowers the cost of doing business, and expands the use of energy saving technologies.
After today’s affirmative vote of 163 to 28 in the House, the bill awaits action by Governor Wolf.