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Energy Savings in Coronado: Commercial Property Owners Can Get Help

County supervisor calls PACE a low-cost financing option to make buildings more energy efficient.

Coronado is one of a dozen cities in San Diego County taking part in a state-backed program aimed at getting commercial property owners to invest in energy-saving projects.

Launched locally this week, the Property Assessed Clean Energy program allows property owners to finance improvements by using their properties as collateral. Owners would then pay off the improvements through assessments added to property tax bills, according to the county.

“Here is a low-cost financing option to make buildings more energy efficient—with no up-front costs,” said county Supervisor Pam Slater-Price. “This program will pay dividends by reducing power bills and impacts to the environment.”

Other towns in PACE include Carlsbad, Coronado, Encinitas, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Poway, Santee and Oceanside. Unincorporated San Diego County also is included.

Other local cities, including San Diego, are considering joining the program, according to Jeff Collins, chief of staff for county Supervisor Dianne Jacob.

Oakland-based Renewable Funding runs the program. Funding comes via CaliforniaFIRST, a consortium of 126 cities and 14 counties backed by private capital and the sale of municipal bonds to upgrade energy and water systems.

Work associated with the effort could produce up to 25,000 jobs statewide, officials said. Applications are at californiaFIRST.org, or property owners can call (510) 692-9995.

PACE as a financing mechanism was pioneered by Berkeley for its residential owners in 2008, according to a news release, which noted PACE programs have been launched from San Francisco to Washington D.C. 

CaliforniaFIRST is a program of the California Statewide Communities Development Authority, created in 1988 to provide California’s local governments with an effective tool for the timely financing of community-based public benefit projects.

CSCDA is sponsored by the California State Association of Counties and the League of California Cities.

— City News Service contributed to this report.

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