PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) is an innovative funding mechanism of far-reaching energy efficiency improvements in all different types of buildings. The long-term return on investment through charging property tax allows to overcome obstacles in its exponential implementation and on a large scale.
Since its inception in 2008, the PACE programme has been implemented in 33 states of the United States, it has rehabilitated 14,8000 households and created 40,000 employment opportunities, generating a market of 4 billion dollars in the green economy.
In order to become more familiar with the model, last May we invited Jane Elias, director of Sonoma County Energy Independence Program (California) and member of PACENation’s Executive Committee, to share her experience as leader in implementing the first PACE programme and also being the most successful in terms of fundraising.
During the seminars with American Space Barcelona and on the premises of the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP) in Madrid, we were able to note the increasing interest that implementing the PACE model has generated in Spain. The participants and the representatives of all of sectors potentially involved (public administration, private sector, social organisations, etc), coincided in potentially providing property associated funds, agreeing that it could be paid back over a 20 year window. As well as generating significant savings in energy consumption and improving the standard of living user comfort, the model also facilitates creating local job vacancies of different qualification requirements in the green market, and it also allows to address social challenges, of great relevance, such as energy poverty.
Olot, pilot city
The Garrotxa Social Lab has selected PACE as the model to be implemented across the region as pilot project. For this purpose, Olot City Council is a member of a consortium led by GNE Finance, which aims to adapt PACE to the European framework. The European Commission itself concludes in a study that adapting the PACE model would be much more efficient than continuing with a micro-grant policy that only achieves a marginal impact.
We would like to thank the U.S. Consulate General Barcelona for making it possible for Jane Elias to visit Spain, and also Ecodes for the co-organisation of the seminars held in Barcelona and Madrid. We would also like to thank the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP), La Casa que Ahorra Foundation and Olot City Council for their collaboration.