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San Diego Begins PACE Program Encouraging Business Investment In Energy-Saving

A low-cost, state-backed program aimed at getting commercial property owners to invest in energy-saving projects was begun today in San Diego County.

The Property Assessed Clean Energy program allows property owners to finance improvements, using their properties as collateral. Owners would then pay off the improvements through assessments added to property tax bills, according to the county.

"Here is a low-cost financing option to make buildings more energy efficient -- with no up-front costs,'' county Supervisor Pam Slater-Price said.

"This program will pay dividends by reducing power bills and impacts to the environment.''

Oakland-based Renewable Funding runs the program. Funding comes via CaliforniaFIRST, a consortium of 126 counties and 14 cities, which is funded by private capital and the sale of municipal bonds to upgrade energy and water systems.

The program "gives businesses a great option for pursing energy efficiency projects that may have previously been out of reach,'' county Supervisor Dianne Jacob said. "The County's partnership with CaliforniaFIRST provides a mechanism for participants to start spending less money on energy bills and more back into the business.''

Work associated the effort could produce up to 25,000 jobs statewide, officials said.

Application are at californiaFIRST.org or by calling (510) 692-9995.

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