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Program to 'Green' Commercial Buildings Expands in California



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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, December 03, 2012

The Property Assessed Clean Energy program, known as PACE, works like this: commercial property owners can apply for county money to retrofit their buildings or to install new green energy sources like solar panels.

If the county approves, it pays for the project.  The business then pays back the investment plus interest through its property taxes.

Placer County Treasurer Jenine Windeshausen (wind -dis - howsin)  says a CPA firm in Roseville is one of a handful of successful projects.  Its solar installation cost $72-thousand dollars, but after some federal grants and rebates:

"And then estimated utility savings of over $3,000 a year. So their payback period ends up being under two years." 

The interest paid back directly benefits county and school districts.  And the company benefits:

"They're producing their own energy and not having to pay anything toward their energy costs." 

Placer County has over $30 million set aside for this program. Sonoma and Yolo counties offer similar programs, and the city of Sacramento is planning to launch its program soon.

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