A bill advancing in the Legislature would create a new way for Minnesota businesses and homeowners to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
It's called PACE - for property-assessed clean energy. DFL Rep. Jeremy Kalin of North Branch said it allows cities and counties to use the same financing mechanism they use to make street improvements for energy projects -- selling bonds and assessing the costs over time on tax bills.
"If it costs $10,000 to upgrade your furnace and add solar hot water and there's a five-year payback, you would then amortize that $10,000 over the five years on your property taxes," Kalin said.
Kalin said energy projects will create jobs and help businesses save money.
"What we've heard clearly from small businesses is that energy costs are making it tougher to hire and tougher to keep their doors open," he said. "We've seen this model work extremely well to put people to work and save money on their bills.
Kalin said all the usual rebates and other incentives would still apply.