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Sen. Jones and Sen. Schwartz champion green building, job creation

May 30th, 2013

Filed under In The News

DENVER – Today, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed two bills into law that will create clean energy and construction jobs, help Coloradans save on their energy bills, and reduce air pollution. Sen. Gail Schwartz (D-Snowmass) and Sen. Matt Jones (D-Louisville) are the prime co-sponsors of SB 13-212, which creates the opportunity for new energy conservation and renewable energy financing options for commercial property owners.

The bill builds on earlier legislation allowing Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs at the local level.  Boulder County’s successful “ClimateSmart” program is a PACE program, for example.  PACE programs use an independent district to sell bonds and loan the proceeds to property owners, who could then install energy-related upgrades immediately and pay back using energy savings over time.  Payments are made along with their property tax bill.  Energy efficiency and renewable energy options, such as solar, qualify under the program.  Extending financing options to commercial owners creates a program known as CPACE (add Commercial to PACE), and both Sen. Schwartz and Sen. Jones believe the bill will lead to economic victories for the state.

“In this time of limited financial resources, Senate Bill 212 requires no state money. The small businesses that participate will help us create clean tech and construction jobs while they save money on utility bills, improve their property, and reduce air pollution,” said Sen. Matt Jones.

HB 13-1105, which was also signed today, sets standards for the Colorado Energy Saving Mortgage program, which administers financing for people purchasing energy-efficient homes or home improvements to increase energy efficiency.  Sen. Schwartz carried the bill in the Senate and Sen. Jones is a co-sponsor.

Under HB 13-1105, the property’s Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score would help determine the maximum mortgage value. The lower the HERS score, the more energy-efficient the home is. For new homes with a HERS score of zero, the maximum value of the mortgage would be $8,000. For new homes with a higher HERS score, or for home improvements, the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) would determine the maximum mortgage value.

Over the past two years, an existing Energy Star mortgage program has provided 188 energy-related mortgages. The programs provide financial incentives for people to purchase energy-efficient homes, and the state will partner with utilities and private lenders under HB 13-1105 to establish an incentive pool of an expected $1 million or more.

“CPACE and Energy Savings Mortgage Program are critical new tools that Coloradans can use to make our buildings more efficient and cut down on utility bills. These programs have great support from the construction and financial sectors, as we continue to work together to keep Colorado at the forefront of renewable energy, clean tech and energy efficiency policy nationally,” said Sen. Gail Schwartz.

Sen. Jones and Sen. Schwartz champion green building, job creation

DENVER – Today, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed two bills into law that will create clean energy and construction jobs, help Coloradans save on their energy bills, and reduce air pollution. Sen. Gail Schwartz (D-Snowmass) and Sen. Matt Jones (D-Louisville) are the prime co-sponsors of SB 13-212, which creates the opportunity for new energy conservation and renewable energy financing options for commercial property owners.

The bill builds on earlier legislation allowing Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs at the local level.  Boulder County’s successful “ClimateSmart” program is a PACE program, for example.  PACE programs use an independent district to sell bonds and loan the proceeds to property owners, who could then install energy-related upgrades immediately and pay back using energy savings over time.  Payments are made along with their property tax bill.  Energy efficiency and renewable energy options, such as solar, qualify under the program.  Extending financing options to commercial owners creates a program known as CPACE (add Commercial to PACE), and both Sen. Schwartz and Sen. Jones believe the bill will lead to economic victories for the state.

“In this time of limited financial resources, Senate Bill 212 requires no state money. The small businesses that participate will help us create clean tech and construction jobs while they save money on utility bills, improve their property, and reduce air pollution,” said Sen. Matt Jones.

HB 13-1105, which was also signed today, sets standards for the Colorado Energy Saving Mortgage program, which administers financing for people purchasing energy-efficient homes or home improvements to increase energy efficiency.  Sen. Schwartz carried the bill in the Senate and Sen. Jones is a co-sponsor.

Under HB 13-1105, the property’s Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score would help determine the maximum mortgage value. The lower the HERS score, the more energy-efficient the home is. For new homes with a HERS score of zero, the maximum value of the mortgage would be $8,000. For new homes with a higher HERS score, or for home improvements, the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) would determine the maximum mortgage value.

Over the past two years, an existing Energy Star mortgage program has provided 188 energy-related mortgages. The programs provide financial incentives for people to purchase energy-efficient homes, and the state will partner with utilities and private lenders under HB 13-1105 to establish an incentive pool of an expected $1 million or more.

“CPACE and Energy Savings Mortgage Program are critical new tools that Coloradans can use to make our buildings more efficient and cut down on utility bills. These programs have great support from the construction and financial sectors, as we continue to work together to keep Colorado at the forefront of renewable energy, clean tech and energy efficiency policy nationally,” said Sen. Gail Schwartz.