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To Rep. Carolyn McCarthy re: PACE Assessment Protection Act of 2011

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy

District: FH-NY04

Phone:(202) 225-5516

Fax:(202) 225-5758

July 15, 2011

Dear Representative Carolyn McCarthy:

As your constituent, I urge you to co-sponsor the “PACE Assessment Protection Act of 2011,” that will be introduced soon by your colleagues Nan Hayworth, Daniel Lungren and Mike Thompson.

This legislation guarantees the right of our community to establish a clean energy financing program, known as Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE).

PACE is a local government and community based solution that helps home and building owners finance energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements.  Twenty seven states have passed legislation enabling these programs — but the Federal Housing Finance Authority (FHFA) has blocked implementation. This is a clear infringement on over a century of legal and historical precedent that established the right of state and local governments to define policy goals and use assessment districts to finance measures that achieve them.  In fact, more than 37,000 districts are in use today to efficiently finance sewers, sidewalks, and other projects that serve similar, yet unchallenged public purposes.

The PACE Assessment Protection Act of 2011 addresses potential FHFA concerns by establishing strict underwriting criteria and lender protections.  It guarantees that PACE assessments will only be allowed for credit-worthy participants, and that improvements must be revenue positive–that is, the savings must be more than the costs, from day one.

In return, FHFA and other federal agencies simply have to back off, and let the 27 states that have passed enabling legislation for PACE programs get to work reducing energy use, saving homeowners money, and creating jobs.

Of the 2,565 homes with PACE assessments currently in place around the country, there have been only 2 reported defaults.  That’s much less than the national average default rate.

This Bill requires no federal spending, imposes no mandates, and PACE programs are voluntary — building owners who can benefit opt-in and there is no impact on non-participants’ taxes.  The Bill does restore states rights, leverages private capital, and puts America to work saving homeowners money.

I respectfully ask you to co-sponsor the “PACE Assessment Protection Act of 2011.”

Sincerely Yours,

Raina Russo


TAKE ACTION: Send your legislator an email, too:
The Vote Solar Initiative Update: PACE programs are currently on hold all across the country. Urge Congress to protect these local energy retrofit programs from the attacks of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac & the FHFA. Find out more now.

Post Written by
For Raina Brett Russo, taking care of the environment is a necessity, not an option. Having grown up in Israel, a place where conservation is required and solar hot water heating is the norm, Raina knows the importance of solar energy. Through her work with the EcoOutfitters.net team, Raina found a way to help grow the solar industry in a significant way. As the founder and host of #SolarChat, a bi-monthly "gathering" on Twitter, Raina and her team have created an engaged solar think-tank community that comes together regularly for collaboration and networking with the ultimate goal in mind of spreading the solar message.

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