State approves Energy Upgrade California to replace CaliforniaFIRST.
Monday, September 27, 2010
After the federal block of CaliforniaFIRST, which would have allowed Monterey County property owners to pay for solar panels through a property tax assessment, the California Energy Commission has focused on a new program: Energy Upgrade California, which offers rebates and other incentives through stimulus funding.
More than $30 million in federal stimulus funds were dedicated to CaliforniaFIRST-related programs (also known as Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE). The CEC approved Energy Upgrade California last week in a move to keep the money, even if PACE is dead.
One of CaliforniaFIRST's facilitators, Santa Cruz-based Ecology Action, is also coordinating Energy Upgrade California. The program is intended to give property owners incentives (such as low-interest loans and government rebates) to invest in energy-efficient improvements, such as rooftop solar panels.