HARRISBURG, January 30, 2018 – The state Senate today overwhelmingly approved legislation sponsored by state Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) that would generate significant economic development, create jobs and enhance Pennsylvania’s clean energy portfolio.
Senate Bill 234, which now moves to the House of Representatives after passing the Senate by a 42-8 vote, would establish Pennsylvania’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program which is a financing mechanism that enables low-cost, long-term funding for energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation upgrades to commercial, agricultural or industrial properties.
“PACE gives local governments across Pennsylvania a powerful tool to support the commercial, industrial and agricultural community as business interests invest in energy efficiency, solar power and water conservation projects. PACE advances the use of cutting edge technologies while creating jobs,” Blake said. “PACE, which is supported by private lending, does not impose upon Pennsylvania taxpayers and, in fact, will result in more economic activity that will drive increased revenues into the Commonwealth’s General Fund.”
Blake worked closely with state Sen. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Allegheny/Washington) and a diverse group of stakeholders from the business, labor and environmental communities on the bipartisan legislation over the past year.
Under Senate Bill 234, a local government would be able to choose to participate in or develop a PACE financing program. PACE financing would not require any public funds; participating local communities would be tasked with collecting the assessment on the improved building and remit it for payment on the debt incurred from the building’s energy-efficiency and clean energy technology upgrades.
The legislation was introduced by Senator Blake in the prior legislative session as Senate Bill 1069 but it did not move from the Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee.
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