PACE Financing Jeopardized?
A new bill in Congress may jeopardize one of the most successful funding opportunities for energy efficiency. Introduced by Senator Tom Cotton, the bill proposes higher standards and regulations for property-assessed clean energy (PACE) financing funds, a source of clean energy loans that has allowed the expansion of technologies ranging for solar panels to efficiency measures. PACE loans are repaid by homeowners via an annual assessment on their property tax bill. As Katie Fehrenbacher writes, the bill proposed by Cotton does more than add widely supported consumer protections to PACE financing, it puts unnecessary burdens on providers of financing that could jeopardize the PACE program’s very existence. Greentech Media.
EmPOWER Maryland Renewed
With the President and Congress gutting funding for clean energy, states have stepped in to pass their own clean energy mandates. Lawmakers in Maryland have been among the most active. Earlier this year, the state expanded its renewable energy target and just last week Maryland became the first state to enact a tax credit for energy storage installations. Sandwiched between those two events was a huge victory for energy efficiency advocates. In early April, Maryland renewed its commitment to the EmPOWER efficiency program. This decision not only cements existing efficiency opportunities, explains Deron Lovaas, but it also creates a platform for new energy efficiency initiatives from Maryland’s five investor-owned utilities. NRDC.
America’s Energy Use
The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory released its annual flow chart of America’s energy use, showing the many different sources of energy in this country. The most alarming visual in this spaghetti diagram, according to David Roberts, is 66.4 quads of wasted energy representing more than two-thirds of energy consumed by Americans. While there are many ways to lower the amount of energy we waste (cleaner transportation, better urban infrastructure), increasing our commitment to energy efficiency remains one of the least expensive and most successful ways to reduce our wasted energy. Vox.
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