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Green Building News

More Solar Ahead for Multifamily Buildings

Officials announce a plan to streamline financing for photovoltaic systems on some California multifamily properties

Multifamily buildings in California would see the installation of more photovoltaic systems with easier access to special financing, state and federal officials said.
Image Credit: Northwest Seed / National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Officials from California and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have outlined plans to increase spending on energy efficiency and solar energy for multifamily buildings in the state.

In a news release, the White House said that a pilot program in California would tap into a type of financing called Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE).

According to the website DSIRE Solar, PACE financing allows property owners to borrow money from local governments, spreading the cost of solar installations over a long period of time. Loans are repaid with a special assessment on property taxes, a utility bill, or another locally collected tax.

California Gov. Jerry Brown plans to establish a PACE pilot partnership with the MacArthur Foundation to allow certain multifamily projects access to this “robust source of capital” for installing renewable energy systems and making energy and water efficiency retrofits.

In California alone, there are more than 3 million multifamily housing units. Improving energy efficiency of multifamily buildings on a national scale by 20 percent would save $7 billion in energy costs a year, the White House said.

The government launched its Better Buildings Challenge in 2011 with the goal of making commercial, industrial and multifamily space 20 percent more efficient by 2020. The new effort in California is part of the government’s goal of installing 100 megawatts of renewable energy in federally subsidized housing by then.

One Comment

  1. user-4053553 | | #1

    This is a great idea
    They have to make sure not to let the rich people only party derail it.
    It is far superior to the solar leasing idea.

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