FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. John Galloway
Galloway's plan to buck up clean energy
Bill would ease expense of green energy upgrades, help create local jobs
HARRISBURG, June 14 – State Rep. John Galloway has introduced a bill that would allow local governments to offer property owners low-interest loans to finance renewable energy upgrades.
"By making it easier for homeowners and businesses to finance alternative energy upgrades, we help them cut their energy bills, plus we help to create local jobs for businesses that make and install the equipment," said Galloway, D-Bucks. "In addition, this bill would send a message to industries that produce such power that Pennsylvania is ready to be a partner in the development and use of sustainable alternative energy."
Under the Property Assessed Clean Energy Program, or PACE, that would be created by H.B. 1667, eligible property owners would finance such improvements as installing solar panels through a voluntary assessment on their property taxes. They would pay back the loan to their municipalities or townships as part of their property tax bill.
"PACE is a tool for local governments to stimulate their local green economy while providing competitive financing for commercial and residential property owners," said Galloway.
Galloway first introduced his PACE legislation last session after officials from Falls Township, Bucks County, who were working with AE Polysilicon and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection had attempted to create a municipal finance program for solar projects in 2009. DEP told the township that the plan was not feasible due to current state law that prohibits such financing arrangements.
California was the first state to implement a PACE program in 2008. Since then, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin have followed suit. More information about PACE can be found at www.renewfund.com.