TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senate Environment and Energy Committee Chairman Bob Smith that would provide financing for municipalities that wish to facilitate the purchase of renewable energy systems or energy efficiency improvements by property owners was approved yesterday by the Assembly.
The bill (S-1406) would establish the “New Jersey Property Assessment Clean Energy (NJ PACE) Municipal Financing Program” in the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU). The EDA would establish low-cost sources of financing – such as qualified energy conservation bonds and investment from public utilities and private capital sources – for property owners in participating municipalities to purchase renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements.
“The NJ PACE bill would set up a tried-and-true financing system where municipalities could assist their residents in making their homes more energy efficient with improvements such as more efficient windows, boilers or air conditioners or with alternative energy improvements such as wind turbines or solar systems,” said Senator Smith (D-Middlesex). “The municipalities would provide the money for the improvements and then collect a special assessment from the taxpayer while collecting the quarterly tax bill. Most municipalities are already using this system to make public benefit improvements to curbs and sidewalks.”