A couple of years ago, we reported on efforts to fund green-technology updates to commercial and residential properties (“Green for Green,” by Paul Hagey, July 2012). At the time, Ygrene Energy Fund had recently launched Clean Energy Sacramento, its first program in California to offer property-assessed clean energy financing for Sacramento-based contractors and property owners.
Since then, that pilot project has expanded to include Sacramento, Yolo and Butte counties. According to Ygrene CEO Stacey Lawson, the project has received applications totalling $104 million in value. She says Ygrene has approved $60 million in loans for energy upgrades in the area and estimates that installed upgrades will result in the reduction of 40,000 metric tons of CO2 over their lifetimes.
“That would be the equivalent of providing electricity to 5,200 additional homes for a year or 90,000 barrels of oil,” Lawson says. “The impact on the environment and economy has been quite large.” She estimates the efforts have also created more than 250 jobs.
In partnership with Golden State Finance Authority, Ygrene Energy Fund launched Ygrene Works, which will expand the regional efforts into a statewide PACE program, making residential and commercial property owners in any California community that adopts a resolution eligible for funding.
“This allows us to expand off the successes of Clean Energy Sacramento and a number of other districts, allowing other communities to get a program up and running with zero risk and in a short time frame,” Lawson says.
Through its programs, Ygrene trains and certifies local contractors on its efficiency upgrade program. Because loans are paid back as part of an owner’s property tax, payments are tax deductible and transfer to new owners in the event the property is sold.
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