Energy Efficiency Legislation Approved By the Alaska Legislature
Provides for Improved Access to Financing for Alaska Businesses to Make Energy Improvements
Juneau – The Alaska State Legislature has passed legislation sponsored by Representative Adam Wool (D-Fairbanks) to help lower energy costs for commercial property owners across Alaska. House Bill 80 allows cities and boroughs to create a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing mechanism for loans for alternative energy and energy efficiency improvements.
“Every day businesses in Alaska face high energy costs that challenge their bottom line. This bill will help businesses make energy efficiency and other improvements by assisting them in gaining access to low interest financing,” said Rep. Wool. “By allowing cities and boroughs to make their own decisions to meet their unique needs, I believe this new program can be very helpful. I envision House Bill 80 as a great way for Fairbanks to eventually switch over to cleaner burning and more efficient natural gas.”
PACE programs allow local governments to identify valuable energy efficiency and improvement projects and then help connect commercial property owners with sources of low interest financing. Financing would be limited to 20 years or less, and access to a PACE program would require an audit to determine potential energy efficiency improvements and quantify anticipated savings.
“Reducing high energy costs and making more efficient use of energy is good for everyone, especially businesses that are struggling through the current recession,” said HB 80 co-sponsor Rep. David Guttenberg (D-Fairbanks). “This bill takes a good pro-business idea that’s used across the country and makes it available in Alaska where we desperately need to make improvements in reducing energy costs,”
32 states have passed laws allowing Property Assessed Clean Energy programs to lower energy costs for commercial property owners.
House Bill 80 was approved Sunday by the Alaska State Senate on a vote of 17-2. The bill passed the Alaska House of Representatives in February by a vote of 36-1 and on Monday the House concurred with changes to the bill made in the Senate, which allows the bill to be sent to Alaska Governor Bill Walker for his signature.