In the renewable energy world PACE stands for “Property Assessed Clean Energy”. It is a program designed to make renewable energy projects affordable for any home-owner. The basic idea is that a home-owner can sign up for PACE financing and get a renewable energy system installed for little or no money up front. Their property taxes are increased an amount that is less than what they pay for electricity over the same period of time. It shows up as a new line item in the property tax only for the home-owners who are part of PACE, and that line item never increases — it is a fixed amount. After 20 years (or the required amount of time to pay for it) that line item of the property tax goes away.
From the home-owners perspective, their electric bill goes away and they pay a little more in property tax, but the amount they pay is less/year than what they paid for electricity. If they stay in the house long enough, they own the solar PV system, and the renewable energy line item on their property tax goes away. It is a savings for the home-owner from the very first year.
A few weeks ago I wrote a blog on the seedlings that I started for garden this year (Seeding the Summer). Well, the little plants are now in their summer home in my small corner of the Shaker Community Garden plot. The picture on the left gives you some idea of the size of the whole garden. There are about 28 plots, mostly 20′ x 20′ and some 10′ x 10′. I have two 10′ x 10′ plots, which seems like plenty of garden for basically two people.
But by the late summer when most of the tomatoes would have been ripening the whole upper valley got hit with a blight that killed off both tomatoes and potatoes. I think I only got 2 or 3 ripened tomatoes before the blight hit. I grabbed a few more green ones that eventually ripened on the windowsill. I got quite a few ears of corn before the deer found them.
One of our projects is to evaluate all the streetlights in town and see if we can reduce the number and save on our town’s electric bill. We currently pay $25,000 for lighting streets in Enfield, and believe we could save $15,000 by removing many of them.
I volunteered to start getting the GPS locations of the 200 streetlights and map them on google so we can present this information to towns people.
I was recently introduced to a group in Plymouth, NH who are helping each other install solar thermal panels and solar PV (photovoltaic) panels on their homes. Just as “barn raisers” were neighbors helping each other raise a barn, “energy raisers” are neighbors helping each other install renewable energy systems.