Legislature passes clean energy bill
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The Alaska Legislature has passed a bill authorizing the implementation of property assessed clean energy, or PACE, financing by municipalities in the state. PACE financing, which already operates in several states, provides commercial property owners with a means of obtaining long-term financing at attractive rates for installing energy efficiency improvements. A PACE loan requires an audit of the property that is to be upgraded. Payments on a loan are made through existing arrangements for the collection of commercial property taxes. PACE loans can also be transferred along with the title for a property when the property is sold, an arrangement that can make the loans appealing for property owners.
The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority’s Interior Energy Project has been particularly anxious that the PACE legislation should pass. The IEP is seeking to greatly enlarge natural gas supplies to Fairbanks and sees the future availability of PACE financing as important in encouraging businesses in Fairbanks to convert their buildings to natural gas heating. The conversion of buildings to gas use is particularly important in establishing increased gas demand in Fairbanks, a key parameter in the economics of the IEP.
- ALAN BAILEY