Trenton, N.J., Monday, January 13, 2014: At the very last moment, the NJ State Senate took up and passed Assembly Bill 3898 (an identical version of S2632, introduced by Senator Bob Smith at the beginning of 2013). In an associated statement, the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee notes that “this bill provides a mechanism for the financing, by municipalities, of water conservation, storm shelter construction, and flood and hurricane resistance projects, and expands the “clean energy special assessment,” established in current law pursuant to P.L.2011, c.187 (N.J.S.A.40:56-1.4 et al.), into the “clean energy and storm resistance special assessment.”
The bill now heads to the Governor’s office for approval.
In an article highlighted on NJSpotlight as part of an end-of-the-year series of reflections by former NJ governors, Governor Jim Florio writes:
A relatively new program — PACE, which stands for “Property Assessed Clean Energy” — has taken hold in places like Connecticut, California, and Florida and is literally funding thousands of necessary energy efficiency and green energy projects with private capital. And a project in Livingston, New Jersey, is now in its early stages.
The essence of a PACE program is its use of a municipal special property tax assessment to attach the financing to the property, not the owner. This assessment mechanism uses a municipal-government power, but does not cost the municipality a dime. Typically, these projects more than pay for themselves through energy savings, and they provide greater self-sufficiency and reliability, as well as more comfortable and more resilient buildings.