SONOMA COUNTY,CA: FINANCING ENERGY RETROFITS FOR HOMES AND BUSINESSES

Posted on: August 19th, 2013 by Stas

SONOMA COUNTY,CA: FINANCING ENERGY RETROFITS FOR HOMES AND BUSINESSES

BY STAS MARGARONIS, RBTUS

The Sonoma County Energy Independence Program (SCEIP) provides a financing program for businesses and homeowners to install solar panels and other renewable applications that will reduce energy waste.

“We provide money to finance energy efficiency, water conservation, and renewable generation improvements to existing homes and business properties via a special voluntary property tax assessment,” explains the program director Jane Elias.

The Property Assessed Clean Energy (or PACE) financing has been offered by the Energy Independence Program since March 2009

OVERVIEW

Elias says the Energy Independence Program, a County of  Sonoma Energy and Sustainability Division program, serves county residents and businesses as a central clearinghouse of information about energy efficiency, water conservation and renewable energy generation:

“We have processed 60 commercial energy efficiency projects ranging from $9,000 to $2.3 million   that include solar installations. We have processed a bed and breakfast that installed solar panels over its parking lot and have also provided financing to 7 wineries where they incorporated solar panels on their property.”

According to the website: “The Sonoma County Energy Independence Program (“SCEIP”) provides financing for the installation of energy efficiency improvements, water efficiency improvements, and renewable energy sources that are permanently fixed to real property (“Improvements”).”

Elias says financing costs 7% but does not require a down payment:” The PACE financing does not require a down payment, but requires $125 for title and $66 recordation. You can choose repayment terms of 10 or 20 years and the interest rate is 7%. The payments are a line item on your property tax and you make two payments per year. You need a signed ‘acknowledgement’ letter from your lender notifying them that a PACE lien will be placed on the property for repayment. We have worked with numerous lenders. The applicant’s upper limit for financing is 10% of the property’s market value. The property tax repayment mechanism does not appear as a capital expense on the company books so it keeps your money free to make additional capital improvements.”

For commercial applications: http://commercial.sonomacountyenergy.org/

ENERGY AUDITS

Sonoma County Energy Watch (SCEW) is a partnership between Sonoma County and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) designed to help  ‘save energy and money while reducing your impact on the climate’: “They provide energy efficiency services to local governments, nonprofit organizations and small businesses.”

SCEW provides the following services:

  • Free energy audits
  • Rebates and incentives
  • Financing options

Contact: (707) 565-2160

In addition, the Resource Solutions Group offers three different programs, depending on your business type:

Public K-12 school districts and County Offices of Education:

SEE: The School Energy Efficiency (SEE) Program, a third-party energy efficiency program sponsored by Pacific Gas & Electric and administered by the Resource Solutions Group, provides energy efficiency engineering services and incentives to public K-12 school districts and county offices of education that receive gas and/or electric service from PG&E.  The program focuses on retrofit and retro-commissioning projects.

 Wineries:

WIES: The Wine Industry Efficiency Solutions (WIES) Program, a third-party energy efficiency program sponsored by Pacific Gas & Electric and administered by the Resource Solutions Group, provides energy efficiency engineering services and incentives to qualifying wineries that receive gas and/or electric service from PG&E.  The program focuses on retrofit and retro-commissioning projects.

 Dairies:

DIRA:  The Dairy Industry Resource Advantage (DIRA) Program, a third-party energy efficiency program sponsored by Pacific Gas & Electric and administered by the Resource Solutions Group, provides energy efficiency engineering services and incentives to qualifying dairies that receive gas and/or electric service from PG&E.  The program focuses on retrofit and retro-commissioning projects.

 For more information, contact the Resource Solutions Group at (650) 726-7628

CITY OF HEALDSBURG ELECTRIC UTILITY

The City of Healdsburg Electric Utility offers rebates to its commercial customers for a large number of energy efficiency and solar PV improvements. In addition to rebates, commercial account-holders can receive a free, on-site energy analysis of their buildings. This is a no-obligation, no-cost visit by energy professionals from TEAA.

 

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