By: Alexander Soule
February 3, 2015
Connecticut’s Green Bank has proposed reinvigorating a state program intended to help homeowners finance the installation of solar panels and other clean energy systems via a surcharge on their annual property tax statements.
First authorized by the Connecticut General Assembly in 2011, the Residential Property Assessed Clean Energy, or R-PACE, program has yet to spark the purchase of solar panels or other systems due to questions by lenders over who would be first in line for any assets in the case of a default by a homeowner.
Connecticut’s commercial-building version of PACE is the most successful in the nation, according to Connecticut’s Green Bank, with $55 million in C-PACE deals approved to date — including multiple properties in Stamford — and a pipeline of $100 million under consideration.
Stamford has helped coordinate its own municipal-level programs to encourage energy efficiency by residents and businesses, including Sustainable Stamford and Solarize Stamford, the latter offered in conjunction with Connecticut’s Green Bank.
Between 2006 and April 2014, there have been more than 80 installations of solar photovoltaic systems in Stamford, according to Erin McKenna, associate planner in Stamford’s land use bureau who was a coordinator for the Solarize Stamford program. McKenna said she has been approached since by homeowners who have expressed satisfaction with the program.
“We sent a mailing from the mayor to every household with a single-family residence — that worked pretty well in eliciting interest,” McKenna said. “We noticed … that it was challenging for some people to compare installers, due to the variety in the packages that each offers for financing options (and the) kind of panels offered.
“Once eligible and interested people know enough to pursue solar, there are very happy with their installations, from what I can see,” she added. For full article…