VICE-CHAIRWOMAN DIANNE JACOB

SUPERVISOR DAVE ROBERTS

San Diego County Board of Supervisors

Contacts:  Steve Schmidt, 619-206-9108, steve.schmidt@sdcounty.ca.gov  

                Adam Kaye, 619-531-5858, adam.kaye@sdcounty.ca.gov

 

NEWS RELEASE

5/23/16

 

PACE ENERGY PROGRAM HEATING UP LOCAL ECONOMY, JOB MARKET

 

County officials today said thousands of homeowners are flocking to a special loan program that is lowering utility bills and fueling growth in the region’s renewable energy industry.

More than $300 million in local energy improvements, including water-efficiency projects and rooftop solar panels, have been funded through the PACE program since its launch in 2014.

The impact of the program on the region’s economy, environment and job creation was highlighted at a media gathering led by Supervisor Dianne Jacob and Supervisor Dave Roberts.

 “Two years in, the program is on a roll,” said Jacob, vice-chair of the Board of Supervisors. “It’s good for the economy. It’s good for the job market. And it’s good for ratepayers tired of big, fat utility bills.”

Homeowners repay their PACE, or Property Assessed Clean Energy, loans through property tax bills issued by the county. Jacob and Roberts led efforts in 2014 to bring the program to the region’s unincorporated communities.

 “At my own house, we used PACE financing to rip up 6,000 square feet of water-guzzling lawn and replace it with artificial turf,” Roberts said. “Almost two years later, we have saved thousands of dollars and thousands of gallons of water.”

The success of PACE has helped fuel growth in the region’s renewable energy sector. The solar panel business, for example, is now a $1 billion a year industry in San Diego County.

"In San Diego we have a thriving solar power industry that is ready and eager to move San Diego away from fossil fuels, and PACE plays an important role in that transition,” said Tara Kelly, director of community development at Sullivan Solar Power and chair of the San Diego chapter of the California Solar Industries Association. “As electricity costs continue to increase, PACE offers a cost-effective mechanism to empower consumers to embrace the renewable technology of today to ensure a better future for tomorrow.”

According to figures provided by PACE loan providers, the financing initiative has resulted in the creation of as many as 2,800 local jobs.

The chief PACE providers in the region are Renovate America’s HERO program, Ygrene and CaliforniaFIRST.

 

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