Letter: Is PACE the future for Montana families? – Nov. 26, 2016, Bozeman Daily Chronicle

Many of us want to see a better future for Montana’s working families. I just recently learned about Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) and wanted to pass along what I know so far. PACE is a way to finance energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation upgrades to existing buildings. These projects are funded by banks and investors and are repaid through property assessments over a term of up to 20 years.

Why does this help families and small businesses? PACE can finance 100% of a projects total cost with no money down and no credit checks. You begin saving money immediately, and will save more than you repay annually. It would be completely voluntary for property owners and counties to participate.

PACE will save money on utility bills giving people more disposable income. PACE will create jobs and help grow existing businesses. PACE enables property owners to access private capital to improve their buildings and increase property values. With all these benefits, PACE would improve the economic possibilities for our communities.

PACE is currently in 32 states. Across the country, commercial PACE has led to $280m in projects on 790 buildings that created 3,300 new jobs.

Bringing PACE to Montana will require legislative action in the upcoming session and I urge our legislators to support it. I am so excited, as a property owner living on a fixed income, I will be able to put solar panels on my house and reduce my carbon footprint.

Virjeana (Jeannie) Brown