Following a public hearing, the Legislature, by a 12-1 vote, approved a new Local Law to establish a sustainable energy loan program in Tompkins County. The program will provide property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for local energy-related improvement projects by implementing the Energize NY Benefit Financing Program, as authorized under State law. The Legislature also, without dissent, authorized the County Administrator to enter into a municipal agreement on behalf of the County with the Energy Improvement Corporation to implement and administer the program. (Legislator Carol Chock was excused.)

The PACE program offers low-cost long-term financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, supporting up to the entire project cost, for existing properties owned by a commercial or not-for-profit entity, with repayments collected by the municipality through a charge on the tax bill. While commercially owned multi-family residential properties are among the types covered, non-commercial residential properties are not, due to federal objections to PACE financing for properties with potential to qualify for federally subsidized mortgage loans. Read more.