Florida 2010: PACE is the bright spot in a sunless session

The Florida legislative session has ended with no major goal to increase the production of renewable energy in the state. Its a disappointment for sure, but not hugely surprising given the on-going tensions between the legislature, the governor, and the PSC, and a lack of clear consensus from all players on the best way to grow the renewable energy market.

There is one bright spot in an otherwise dim session: an important bill has passed that gives municipalities the authority to create Property Tax Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing programs. This bill has the potential to create real growth in the future by providing a financing tool that makes it easier for homeowners and businesses to install solar and energy efficiency measures. Vote Solar worked with stakeholders to promote PACE and provided analysis and bill suggestions to House staff. To learn more about PACE, visit here.

PACE enjoyed enthusiastic support from stakeholders on all sides of the political spectrum, which helped the bill navigate a difficult session. In fact, PACE was the very last bill to pass this session! Supporters of the bill included the FL Association of Counties, the FL League of Cities, environmental groups, housing developers, and the solar industry. Dozens of cities have expressed interest in creating PACE programs and its very possible that we’ll see a statewide PACE program in the next year. Stay tuned…