Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) legislation

Bill 10 was introduced to let municipalities establish a program that would help private property owners make energy efficiency upgrades.

Status: Bill 10 introduced April 12, 2018
Ministry responsible: Municipal Affairs

Overview

Accessing affordable financing is one of the biggest barriers property owners face when deciding to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades.

Bill 10: An Act to Enable Clean Energy Improvements has been introduced to let municipalities establish a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program that would make it more affordable for Albertans to upgrade their properties without having to put money down.

Under PACE, municipalities would install and pay for upgrades on private property and recover costs through the owners' property taxes.

Since first implemented in California in 2008, PACE programs have expanded to every region in the United States, generating nearly $6 billion in economic activity. Ontario, Nova Scotia and Quebec have also adopted PACE legislation.

Making PACE programs available to Albertans would help them make clean-energy improvements, save money and reduce emissions, while helping to create green jobs and stimulate local economies.

How PACE works

If passed, PACE would be a voluntary program for municipalities and property owners.

  • Municipalities that wish to participate would pass a PACE bylaw and may then work with Energy Efficiency Alberta to deliver the program to residents.
  • Energy Efficiency Alberta may administer the program on behalf of the municipality, including covering the administrative work and finding third-party funding.
  • Property owners would pay for any clean energy upgrades through their property taxes.
    • The outstanding amount could be paid off at any time.
    • The repayments remain with the property. If it is sold, the new owners would take on the repayments.

Once a PACE program is established, property owners would take the following steps to access the program:

  1. Owner decides to make a clean-energy upgrade
  2. Owner signs agreement with municipality
  3. Municipality installs and pays for upgrade
  4. Owner pays back municipality through property taxes
  5. Property owners save money on energy bills, reduce emissions and contribute to a green economy

Eligible projects

If passed, eligible projects would focus on energy efficiency, water conservation or on-site renewable energy such as:

  • solar power
  • upgraded insulation, windows and doors
  • high-efficiency heating and cooling systems

PACE improvements could be made to residential, commercial and agriculture property. It would not apply to designated industrial property.

Next steps

If Bill 10 passes:

  • the government would consult with municipalities, lenders, real estate associations and other stakeholders to develop a guiding regulation in the summer of 2018
  • the regulation would be brought back for approval in the fall of 2018
  • the government would work with Energy Efficiency Alberta to design a PACE program, including tools to assist municipalities, in the summer of 2018

The legislation is expected to come into force in early 2019. Municipalities would then need to pass a PACE bylaw and decide their approach to program delivery before making PACE available to residents.

News

Saving money while building a green economy (April 12, 2018)