Nation's Largest Retrofit Loan Program Gets $3M Bigger

Nation's Largest Retrofit Loan Program Gets $3M Bigger

San Francisco's GreenFinanceSF Program, already described as the largest retrofit loan program of its kind in the U.S., got a nearly $3 million boost from Recovery Act funds today.

Newsom announced Friday night that city had secured $2,955,957 in federal funds, administered through the California Energy Commission, for the program that will help business, home and apartment building owners pay for energy efficiency and water conservation projects.

The loans are intended to ease the upfront costs of installing high-efficiency insulation, windows, heating, water fixtures and renewable energy systems by attaching the financing to the property and enabling the owners to pay the debt through future taxes. Special incentives will be available to low-income residents.

{related_content}The arrangement, known generically as a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, was scheduled to launch March 1 with $150 million in bond capacity being made available to the city by Renewable Funding of Oakland, which is providing the initial capital for the program and administering it for San Francisco. The company is the leading financier of PACE programs in the U.S.

The GreenFinanceSF Program will now begin in early April, when the new grant funding is in place so the full range of benefits will be available to applicants, the mayor said.

The program's website, will go live as scheduled on Monday with information about eligibility for the low-cost loans, projects that are covered and how to apply.

The program is expected to increase employment. "In addition to reducing San Francisco's carbon footprint, this green financing program is going to sustain hundreds of green jobs in The City," said Environment Department Acting Director David Assmann in a prepared statement.
Washington, D.C,. is among the cities considering a PACE program for its property owners. Seventeen states have authorized the programs in the past 18 months, according to Renewable Funding. The firm said it is working to establish and finance programs for 200 local governments this year.

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