Aspen, CO: Gov. Bill Ritter will join Sen.Gail Schwartz and officials from Pitkin, Eagle, and Gunnison Counties in Aspen this week for the signing of Senate Bill 100. SB 100 is a measure to enhance opportunities for home and business owners to obtain county-based financing for clean energy upgrades.
Gov. Bill Ritter
Sen. Gail Schwartz
Pitkin County Commissioner Rachel Richards
Gondola plaza at the Little Nell
675 E. Durant Avenue
May 5th, 2010
SB 100 Summary:
SB 100 improves a program that’s already working. It helps people from less-populated and more rural counties take advantage of clean energy financing to upgrade their homes and businesses.
Under existing law, local governments may create special improvement districts within their jurisdictions to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements in existing buildings. Financing helps property owners meet upfront investment costs and realize the cost-savings of clean energy.
How the program works
The process is simple. Voters authorize the creation of a special improvement district. Working with individual homeowners and businesses, local officials issue bonds to cover the total amount of clean energy upgrades within the district. The proceeds of the bond sale are used to provide a loan to homeowners and businesses that pays for the upgrades. The loan is then repaid through a special assessment on the owner’s property tax bill, which can be retired in installments.
Popularity of the program
· The program has been highly successful in Boulder County, with nearly $10 million of local business in renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades just on the residential side.
· In November 2009 voters in Eagle, Gunnison, and Pitkin Counties voted to get their Energy Smart Loan Programs underway.
How SB 100 improves the program
· SB 100 permits special improvement districts to cross jurisdictional boundaries and include properties in multiple counties, whether contiguous or non-contiguous. With the resulting multi-jurisdictional districts, county governments can work together and share the program’s administrative and capital costs among a larger pool of voluntary participants.
· By sharing costs, participating counties will lower their unit costs, run their programs more efficiently, and enable businesses and homeowners to obtain financing at more favorable rates.
· Without SB 100, Colorado’s smaller and more rural counties will have trouble participating in the program.
SB 100 will enable counties with a smaller number of participants, and therefore a smaller volume of clean energy business, to lower their administrative costs, get access to the bond market, and realize the benefits of financing. As a result, residential and commercial property owners across the state will expand business opportunities, create jobs, and spread the benefits of clean energy.