PROVIDENCE – Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee last week signed legislation allowing a new model of long-term financing that looks to boost energy-efficient homes in the state.
According to a news release, the legislation will allow homeowners in participating cities and towns to access a low-cost, fixed-rate loan for energy upgrades that would become an assessment on the property, much like a sewer assessment. The Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, modeled after a similar program in Vermont, would allow homeowners to make otherwise costly energy efficiency or renewable-energy-generation improvements without the upfront costs, allowing them to pay for them incrementally over the course of up to 20 years.
PACE will make it practical for “mainly middle-class homeowners who might otherwise be unable to afford energy improvements to make them,” according to a news release. •