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Home State Senate Committee Kills League-Opposed PACE Loans Bill for Residential Dwellings

State Senate Committee Kills League-Opposed PACE Loans Bill for Residential Dwellings

Authored By: Lewis Wood on 1/30/2023

JT Blau testifies before state Senate Local Government Committee

League Chief Advocacy Officer JT Blau testified today before the state Senate's Local Government Committee in opposition to a bill extending PACE loans to residential dwellings. The Committee killed the bill for this year though chief patron Sen. Chap Peterson said he would revisit the issue in preparation for the next General Assembly session, likely offering the measure as a separate code section.

The PACE or Property Assessed Clean Energy program is a government-sponsored financing option for commercial and residential property owners (where permitted) to pay for energy upgrades. Approved projects include permanent improvements like solar panels, new roofs, windows and weatherization upgrades.

In Virginia, such programs have enjoyed success for commercial properties, but extension to residential dwellings has been a cause for concern for financial institutions, given experiences in other states.

Our chief concern, noted Blau, is the lack of consumer protections related to such loans. Well-publicized issues of bad actors in other states providing such loans should give lawmakers pause. While these programs are government-sponsored, private companies actually provide the loans and outsource the work to PACE-approved contractors. Additionally, the bill that was offered this year would have applied a code section written for commercial real estate to residential work. In today’s hearing, several committee members noted this as potentially problematic and highlighted the need for residential PACE lending to have its own section of the code.

Your League will continue to monitor this issue.



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