California Fighting Back to Save PACE Program

On July 14, 2010, California Attorney General Jerry Brown filed a lawsuit against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (California v. Federal Housing Finance Agency, N.D. Cal., No. 10-3084), claiming that the government-sponsored enterprises are thwarting the State’s PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) programs, which encourage homeowners to make their homes more energy and water efficient. Under PACE programs, local governments lend money to homeowners who then use the funds to install solar panels, better insulation and other energy efficiency improvements. The homeowners pay for the improvements through special property tax assessments over a period of 10 years or more. The PACE programs, which have already created thousands of jobs, have additionally attracted over $150 million in stimulus money for the State of California.

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