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Local Option - Energy Efficiency & Clean Energy Districts

Last Review: 2013-07-18
Incentive Type: PACE Financing
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Lighting, Chillers, Furnaces, Boilers, Heat pumps, Central Air conditioners, CHP/Cogeneration, Energy Mgmt. Systems/Building Controls, Duct/Air sealing, Building Insulation, Windows, Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Solar Thermal Process Heat, Photovoltaics, Wind, Biomass, Geothermal Heat Pumps, CHP/Cogeneration, Daylighting
Applicable Sectors: Commercial
Terms: Locally determined


Note: The Federal Housing Financing Agency (FHFA) issued a statement in July 2010 concerning the senior lien status associated with most PACE programs. In response to the FHFA statement, most local PACE programs have been suspended until further clarification is provided.

Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing effectively allows property owners to borrow money from a local government to pay for energy improvements. The amount borrowed is typically repaid via a special assessment on the property over a period of years. New Hampshire has authorized local governments to establish such programs, as described below. (Not all local governments in New Hampshire offer PACE financing; contact your local government to find out if it has established a PACE financing program.)

New Hampshire enacted legislation in June 2010 (H.B. 1554) authorizing the state's cities, towns and village districts to establish energy efficiency and clean energy districts. To create such a district, a local government may incur debt (including through issuance of municipal revenue bonds, Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds or Clean Renewable Energy Bonds), establish revolving funds, provide financing and collect assessments to implement the program. Legislation enacted in July 2011 (H.B. 144) specified that PACE liens are junior to any existing liens.

Owners of private property (zoned for residential, commercial, industrial or "other" uses) may opt in to an energy financing district after such a district has been created and may obtain funding for a broad array of energy efficiency upgrades and/or renewable energy investments that are permanently affixed to the property. Energy improvements must be installed by qualified contractors after an energy audit is conducted.

The minimum total amount of assessments for a single-family property is $5,000, and the maximum is $35,000 or 15% of the assessed value of the property multiplied by the municipality's current equalization ratio, whichever is less. For other properties, the maximum is $60,000 or 15% of the assessed value of the property multiplied by the municipality's current equalization ratio, whichever is less.

In November 2010, the town of Durham became the first in New Hampshire to establish a PACE financing program.



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