The Mountain Times

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“PACE” Program helps homeowners invest in energy efficiency

At town meeting this year, the citizens of Cavendish voted to create a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) District. PACE is a financing program designed to help qualifying homeowners invest in specified energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements to their homes through a special assessment tied to their property. The new program will debut soon, according to a release March 27.

Cavendish residential property owners meeting all of the eligibility requirements may apply for financing. If approved, the homeowner will enter into an assessment contract with the town and an assessment lien will be placed on the property. The cost of improvements will be paid to the contractor once the project is complete. The property owner then repays the assessment over a 10-, 15-, or 20-year period. 

If the property owner sells the property before the assessment has been completely paid off, the obligation to pay the assessment stays with the property and is repaid by the new owner of the property, or the assessment can be paid off in full with no penalty.

Any residential dwelling - primary residence, vacation home, one to four unit owner occupied structure, manufactured home or condominium - located in a PACE district can qualify for the program. Qualified homeowners must be up-to-date on their tax payments and there are limits on how much they may borrow.

The next step in the process is for Cavendish to enter into an agreement with Efficiency Vermont to administer the program. Efficiency Vermont will coordinate the paperwork and will provide the source of financing from which the loans will be made. Residents who think that they may qualify and who are considering participating should start identifying energy improvements and upgrades, so they are ready to sign up as soon as the program is available. For more information visit www.cavendishvt.org