Under the plan, YGrene Energy and Barclays Financial would lend property owners money to make their buildings more energy efficient. The loans would then be bundled into bonds which would then be sold to investors. Alan Strachan of Ygrene says property owners pay back the loans by agreeing to an increase in their property tax bills.
STRACHAN: "In factories, hotels, restaurants, that sort of thing, it might be the compressors, or the motors in factories you upgrade to newer, much more efficient equipment. The net of it is the improvements that you make reduce your energy bill more than your tax bill go up."
Branson has already lined up $650 million in private financing -- and YGrene has picked Sacramento and the Miami-Dade area as its first two partners. The City Council will vote next week on the matter of allowing YGrene and Barclays exclusive rights to conduct such deals in Sacramento. The company says the building work would create 1500 Sacramento-area jobs.