While we are super excited and strongly support the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, some crucial changes are needed in legislation to ensure the PACE program works as effectively as possible for Albertan’s.
What can I do?
Write a letter!
PACE Alberta has a very easy to edit document (letter template) that you can use and all of the contacts to send it to. Let your MLA and Alberta government know what you think, and that you want these amendments made to the legislation to make sure it is successful and works for everyone!
What is PACE?
The Property Assessed Clean energy Program (PACE) is a financing tool that has been demonstrated to be effective in the United States, and has recently been brought to Alberta. Essentially, the program allows homeowners to make energy efficiency upgrades without having to put their money up front. Instead, they can get these upgrades and pay for them through their property taxes. These upgrades can include solar panels, high-insulation windows, and high-efficiency heating and cooling systems. Often, the savings the upgrades provide are greater than the added cost to their property taxes.
What is the Legislation?
Rural Municipalities of Alberta sums the legislation up very well: “The Government of Alberta has recently tabled Bill 10: An Act to Enable Clean Energy Improvements to provide municipalities with the ability, on a voluntary basis, to establish PACE programs”
Why is it important?
By reducing barriers to upgrading to clean energy improvements, each household has the ability to reduce their carbon footprint
According to Minister of Municipal Affairs, Shaye Anderson: “PACE programs have been adopted by regions across North America and have generated nearly $6 billion in economic activity” (2018). This activity means more jobs, and increased economic output.
Homeowners have the opportunity to begin investing in their home immediately, without having to save up a significant up-front cost. These upgrades add value to their home and are investments with immediate returns.
What is wrong with the current legislation?
PACE Alberta and PACE stakeholders have identified 5 main areas for improvements to the legislation (Read more details here on the PACE website). One of these improvements is the option to make the PACE program retroactive.
Why Retroactive PACE?
Many homeowners want to make upgrades, and some could make the upgrades right away. Waiting for the PACE program is an added incentive that would enable homeowners to mitigate their costs. This would keep more money in their pockets today in case of emergency and for other home upgrades or life needs. By making the program retroactive, the risk is removed from anyone who is afraid of missing out.
While those who are ready to make upgrades but don’t want to miss this program wait, installers and trades people are also forced to wait for work. By making the program retroactive, those who would make the upgrades anyway can do so without fear of missing the opportunity. Businesses who provide these services can then continue working with their customers’ best interest at heart.
We encourage you to contact your MLA and let them know you support PACE and the proposed changes. In addition, please share this post, or the PACE Alberta website to spread the word!