Art: Nat Damm
President, Renewable Funding
Sure, you’d love to have solar panels on your roof, but where would you get tens of thousands of dollars to install them? Cisco Devries, 36, has come up with an innovative answer: Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is a new type of financing program that lets private property owners pay for energy-efficiency and renewable-energy projects over 10 to 20 years via an addition to their property tax bill, instead of coming up with the cash up front; the financing comes via municipal bonds, and if an owner sells the property, the tax surcharge transfers to the new owner. The concept was first introduced in (where else?) Berkeley, Calif., in 2007; since then, 17 states have cleared the way for municipalities to use property taxes in this way, and more than 200 U.S. cities and counties are working to launch programs. DeVries’ company, Renewable Funding, helps communities set up and run PACE programs. Read a Grist post by DeVries.