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Local governments often use property-assessed clean energy programs to help fund climate efforts, a recent Brookings Institution report found. Taxes and emerging strategies like local financing authorities and funding partnerships are less common, it states.
Thirty-nine states allow local governments to create PACE programs to encourage building efficiency upgrades. Such programs help property owners finance all the upfront costs of energy efficiency projects like new heat and cooling systems or insulation by allowing them to repay those costs over a long period, often up to 20 years, through property taxes.
“Funding and financing are often the biggest barriers to local decarbonization efforts,” the report says. “With larger cities requiring billions of dollars to retrofit their building stock, construct new transit lines, or modernize local electricity distribution systems, being realistic about how to fund all these investments is an essential step to decarbonization.”