NEWS: Energy Efficiency Legislation Approved By the Alaska House of Representatives
House Bill 80 Allows Businesses Access to Financing to Make Energy Improvements
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 10, 2017
Juneau – The Alaska House of Representatives has passed legislation sponsored by Representative Adam Wool (D-Fairbanks) to help lower energy costs for commercial property owners. House Bill 80 establishes a process for cities and boroughs to create a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing mechanism to cover loans for alternative energy and energy efficiency improvements.
“This bill will help commercial property owners gain access to low interest financing for energy improvements. Alaskans have to do everything we can to reduce our high energy costs.” saidRep. Wool. “Specifically, HB 80 will also be a good tool to help Fairbanks switch over from heating oil to natural gas.”
By creating a PACE program, local governments can identify energy improvement projects and connect them with sources of low interest financing. Financing would be limited to 20 years or less, and access to a PACE program would require an audit to determine potential energy efficiency improvements and quantify anticipated savings.
“As state funds continue to tighten, it is incumbent upon the Alaska State Legislature to identify other means of assisting Alaskans with high energy costs,” said Rep. Jason Grenn (I-Anchorage), who is co-sponsoring HB 80. “Allowing local governments the freedom to look for alternative funding mechanisms comes with no additional costs or obligations to the State of Alaska while allowing businesses to lower their energy costs. This is a pro-business bill, and I hope it becomes law.”
Property Assessed Clean Energy programs have been successfully used in 32 states to lower energy costs for commercial property owners.
HB 80 was approved by the Alaska House of Representatives earlier today by a vote of 36-1. The bill will now go to the Alaska Senate for consideration.
For more information, please contact Alaska House Majority Coalition Press Secretary Mike Mason at (907) 444-0889 or Deputy Press Secretary Drew Cason at (907) 465-6791.