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Development of Municipal Loan Program for Energy Efficiency Retrofits Approved

The Austin City Council today accepted $10 million in federal grant funds to develop a municipal loan program to help make energy-efficiency improvements and solar energy installations available to a greater number of Austin Energy businesses and residential customers. This may well lay the groundwork for the next generation of Energy Efficiency Retrofit (EER) programs both in Austin and across the country. One potential component of the program would be development of a Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing mechanism whereby property owners could use money from a financing pool and then repay their loans through a property tax assessment. San Antonio also was awarded $10 million in federal funding for PACE program development. Austin Energy estimates creation of a $96.5 million EER program would result in energy efficiency and solar installations to some 7,250 homes and businesses during the first three years of the program. Nationally, similar PACE-type legislation has been passed in 17 states with programs currently planned or under way in more than 10 cities and counties across the U.S.  http://www1.eere.energy.gov/wip/solutioncenter/financialproducts/PACE.html