Thanks to all who attended and viewed the Summit online. It was a very successful event — we had over 270 RSVPs, an estimated 225 attending in person, and another 169 unique visitors viewing the live stream. We’re posting the initial presentations, conference photos, and other materials at
— and we’ll continue to keep everyone updated as to the progress of the legislation.
Frank Brill: “NJ Gov gets bill to boost private, clean-energy investment” (EnviroPolitics Blog, June 27, 2015). Written after the Legislature passed the bill on June 25.
Jon Hurdle: “BILL WOULD CHANNEL PRIVATE FUNDS FOR CLEAN-ENERGY BUILDING PROGRAMS“ (NJSpotlight, June 15, 2015). A very positive article, though it gets a few things wrong. In particular, it confuses “property tax assessments” with “special assessments,” which are not actually property taxes but special user-related fees for specific purposes, such as sewers or sidewalks.
PACE does not affect the “property tax assessment,” i.e., the assessed value of the property and the corresponding amount of tax, for a couple of major reasons:
- Renewable energy systems are specifically exempted from adding to the property’s assessed value by New Jersey law; and
- Replacing energy systems and improving resiliency are generally seen as part of regular maintenance, not capital improvements
Because there is an immediate increase in net asset value, there may eventually be an increase in the amount of tax paid, but that’s likely to be relatively minor.
A couple of other mistakes, one of which has since been corrected (they originally got the bill number wrong): the PACE program in New Jersey will permit financing up to 30 years (not 20 as in Connecticut and some other states). And the article does not note that some municipalities—those under state financial supervision (currently eight or nine out of 565)—will still need to apply for approval, and demonstrate their organizational capability to operate the program.
But apart from these quibbles the article is extremely positive and informative. It quotes not only a couple of speakers but also a diverse group of stakeholders attending the Summit—a capital provider, a contractor, and an equipment supplier—who have nothing but positive things to say about PACE.
The program really is a triple or quadruple win—of benefit to property owners, lenders, energy services contractors, and the community, which gets jobs, economic development, and reduced carbon pollution. Unlike other “government programs,” it doesn’t use public money, and it doesn’t have a downside for any sector of the economy.