The PACE Petition for New York State sign now

If you are a New York State resident who believes that the Federal Home Finance Agency should once again allow PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) programs to survive and thrive here in NY and across the country, sign on to this petition, call Congress at (866) 338-1015 to pass the PACE Assessment Protection Act of 2010 (H.R.5766/S.3642), currently co-sponsored by Kirsten Gillibrand, John Hall, Maurice Hinchey, and dozens of others, and pass it along to all you know (see!

Joel Tyner
Dutchess County Legislator
324 Browns Pond Road
Staatsburg, NY 12580
[email protected]
Host of "The Real Majority Project" Fridays 5-6 pm on WVKR 91.3 FM
Host of "Common Sense" Saturdays 8-10 am on WHVW 950 AM

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[see for great example for Dutchess County from Cambridge, MA; two resolutions from yours truly passed with wide bipartisan margins in our County Legislature in 2008 and 2009 to create the Independent Dutchess Energy Alliance]

It's more timely than ever for us to push for PACE-like program locally-- Wall Street bond types are much more interested in helping towns start PACE-like programs like (Babylon) if towns like Clinton and Rhinebeck first get motivated, then band together in aggregation with other small towns-- as 13 towns have banded together in Westchester w/Town of Bedford (foundation money could become more available too as elsewhere in the country-- along with $44 million already earmarked for NYS from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative).

Seven facts that prove exactly how effective PACE programs can be creating green jobs locally (while helping Dutchess taxpayers save millions on electric bills, cleaning air quality and cutting carbon emissions):

Fact #1: Poughkeepsie's own David Dell, Chair of Sustainable Hudson Valley, has crunched the numbers and found literally one billion dollars in savings on electric bills possible over the next decade for Dutchess County homeowners and businesses alone if we actually succeeded in getting energy-efficiency retrofits into the hands of all who need them-- not to mention tons of jobs as well.
[you may recall-- SHV's David Dell is also a member of the Independent Dutchess Energy Alliance; two resolutions passed in the Dutchess County Legislature in 2008 and 2009 with wide bipartisan margins to create IDEA:]

Fact #2: "Sonoma County has loaned out $30 million for energy improvements to more than 1,000 homes and businesses since the program began a year and a half ago"-- creating 347 jobs so far(!).
[July 28th NPR piece-- "Outlook Dims for Popular Energy-Efficiency Loans" by John McChesney Sonoma Co.-- population 472,000]

Fact #3: The Town of Babylon's Long Island Green Homes program by the end of August completed energy-efficiency retrofits in 120 homes (with 96 more waiting in queue); also solar lending. According to the Town of Babylon's Sustainability Officer and Energy Program Director Dorian Dale, "participating contractors have increased their employee rolls by 26\% since the program began"-- and the Long Island Green Homes program is projected to create literally 6600 new green-collar jobs for the Town of Babylon-- with the average homeowner reducing their energy costs by $1160 a year(!).
[ ; pop. 211,000]

Fact #4: According to Town Boardmember David Gabrielson, the Town of Bedford is planning to make available $50 million over the next five years to loan 5000 homeowners enough funding for energy-efficiency and solar retrofits. [Bedford: population 18,000]
[see ; Gabrielson made this statement on my WVKR 91.3 FM show yesterday]

Fact #5: "The Berkeley FIRST program has enabled 13 homeowners to install solar power systems, using money from bonds issued by the City." [Berkeley-- population 100,000]
[from "Solar Financing Program Invented in Berkeley, Now National, Is in Trouble" (July 19, 2010)

Fact #6: "Two combined land and sea surface temperature records from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the U.S. National Climatic Data Center both calculate that the first six months of 2010 were the hottest on record; four of the six months also individually showed record highs."
[from "Global Warming Pushes 2010 Temperatures to Record Highs" by Juliette Jowit ]

Fact #7: From -- for second year in a row now Dutchess County air quality has been rated an "F"-- and over 39,000 Dutchess Co. residents with asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema (the point being this-- the more energy-efficiency and solar/geothermal installed locally through PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) programs-- the less we all have to rely on polluting sources like the coal-burning power-plant complex at Newburgh's Danskammer/Roseton plant-- or Indian Point-- or hydrofracking and jeopardizing our groundwater-- or drilling for oil too).

Recall this, too, from National Association of Counties News (each Co. Leg. receives in our mailbox):

"Energy-Efficiency Loan Program Set 'PACE' for Counties" by Charles Taylor [June 21, 2010]

[this article from NACO News points out that there are many different ways to fund PACE projects!...see: ; ; ]

Recall, too-- it's not just towns, cities, and villages here in NYS and across the country that are getting off the dime to kick off their own PACE programs-- but counties too.

Don't forget-- the Albany County Legislature unanimously passed a resolution this February to start a PACE-like program there (a Sustainable Energy Loan Fund, the Tompkins County Legislature unanimously passed a resolution this April to start a PACE-like program there (a Sustainable Energy Loan Fund), the GOP-led Nassau County Legislature passed a resolution this March to start a PACE-like Green Energy Loan Fund there, and most of the Sullivan County Legislature is also committed to helping Dick Riseling start a PACE-like SWEEP program there as well.

[note, too-- Elizabeth Staubach in the Albany County Executive's office has confirmed with me that Albany County is indeed working towards direction of starting to implement county-wide PACE program as in Babylon]

[see: ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ]

And here in Dutchess, Co. Leg.'s Dan Kuffner, Barbara Jeter-Jackson, Alison MacAvery, and Jim Doxsey have all agreed to co-sponsor the resolution below (scroll down) drafted by yours truly for our County Legislature to do the same here...(and have for months).

But not ONE GOP member of our County Legislature has made commitment to co-sponsor this with us.

So-- send a letter today to all 25 of us on this-- at [email protected]!

Also true-- at the August full board meeting of the Dutchess County Legislature, I got the entire Co. Leg. Dem caucus (Goldberg, Kuffner, Jeter-Jackson, MacAvery, White-- plus Cons. Jim Doxsey) to agree to sign on unanimously to letter from yours truly urging Congress (especially Sen. Schumer and Rep. Scott Murphy) to join Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Barbara Boxer, along with Representatives John Hall, Maurice Hinchey, and over forty other members of Congress, to co-sponsor legislation to protect PACE programs from the July 2010 statement from the Federal Housing Finance Agency-- "The PACE Assessment Protection Act of 2010" (H.R. 5766/S. 3642)...

Thanks again to Hank Gross of for again for covering this:
"Dutchess Legislature Dems Ask President to Retain PACE Program"

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From National Association of Counties News (which each Co. Leg. receives in our mailbox).

"Energy-Efficiency Loan Program Set 'PACE' for Counties" by Charles Taylor [June 21, 2010]

Santa Fe County's program, Renew Santa Fe, has raised $10 million in private funding to begin as a pilot, according to Duncan Sill, the county's economic development director, who is in charge of the effort. That should be enough to fund 40-50 projects when the program ramps up later this year, he said.

Residential and commercial properties will be eligible for the loans. The county also intends to eventually sell "micro-bonds" in the $20,000 to $30,000 range, the proceeds from which will be used to make loans. Under most programs of this type, loans are capped at those amounts, or 10 percent of the home's value, whichever is lower.

St. Lucie County, Fla.'s nascent Solar Energy and Loan Fund (SELF) program takes a slightly different approach than Santa Fe's. Rather than selling bonds, it is creating a nonprofit "green" Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). The county has $20 million in commitments from the banking community.

"We're able to avoid the bonding process by partnering with the financial institutions, and then they put the financial capital in for the loan funds," said Doug Coward, vice chairman of the Board of County Commissioners. The St. Lucie program will focus in three areas: energy conservation, energy efficiency upgrades and rooftop solar. The first two are a no-brainer, according to Coward: "It doesn't make a lot of sense to put solar photovoltaic on the roof if that new electricity is going out the window."

Programs like these put energy efficiency improvements within reach for lower income residents and the working poor, he added. A CDFI requires that 60 percent of the program's energy improvements be in low- and middle-income communities.

In addition, the SELF program will be able to offer lower interest rates than traditional PACE programs, whose interest payments can range from 8 percent to 10 percent, Coward said. Using the CDFI approach, the county's program will be able to offer interest rates of 4 percent to 5 percent.

St. Lucie County and the Santa Fe County are also using monies provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which encourages such programs. Earlier this month, St. Lucie County was one of 20 jurisdictions nationwide awarded competitive grants from the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency Block Grant Program (EECBG), receiving $2.9 million for its SELF program. Santa Fe County is using state energy program funds that were distributed by formula.

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Here is actual letter I got Goldberg, Kuffner, Jeter-Jackson, MacAvery, White, and Doxsey to sign in August, directed to Congress:

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and forty-nine members of the House of Representatives wrote a letter to President Obama July 19th stating the following-- 'We are writing to express our strong support for the continuation of the innovative financing mechanism known as Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program; this innovative program will create jobs and make thousands of homes more energy-efficient.

The PACE program allows residential property owners, who may not have large amounts of capital on hand, to afford the up-front costs of a number of cost-effective improvements to their home. We request that the Federal Housing Finance Agency immediately publish revised guidelines that would allow PACE financing programs to continue while ensuring that both taxpayer and private mortgage investments are protected. Many Americans, states, and municipalities are counting on this program to be restored.'

Poughkeepsie's David Dell, Chair of Sustainable Hudson Valley, has determined that literally one billion dollars in savings on electric bills is possible over the next decade for Dutchess County homeowners and businesses if we succeeded in getting energy-efficiency retrofits into the hands of all who need them.

The towns of Babylon and Bedford, and the counties of Albany, Nassau, and Tompkins have taken meaningful steps towards setting up PACE programs. National Public Radio also recently reported that 'Sonoma County in California has loaned out $30 million for energy improvements to more than 1,000 homes and businesses since the program began a year and a half ago'-- creating jobs so far in just eighteen months.

Additionally, Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Barbara Boxer, along with Representatives John Hall, Maurice Hinchey, and over forty other members of Congress are co-sponsoring actual legislation to protect PACE programs from the July 2010 statement from the Federal Housing Finance Agency-- 'The PACE Assessment Protection Act of 2010' (H.R. 5766/S. 3642).

We, the undersigned seven members of the Dutchess County Legislature, strongly urge Congress to pass H.R. 5766/S. 3642 without further delay-- and for President Obama to sign it into law."

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From ...

Dutchess Legislature Dems ask President to retain PACE program

POUGHKEEPSIE - The six Democrats and one Conservative on the Dutchess County Legislature have signed a letter to President Obama, Senator Charles Schumer and Congressman Scott Murphy asking them to support retention of the Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program.

The program allows residential property owners who cannot afford upfront costs of making energy efficient improvements to their homes to perform them.
Dutchess County Legislator Joel Tyner is the impetus behind the local push to keep the legislation intact.

"Unfortunately the what happened on roughly July 7, the Federal Housing Finance Agency decided they wanted to kill PACE programs and this is really not a tolerable situation," he said.

So, Tyner and fellow Democrats Sandra Goldberg, Daniel Kuffner, Barbara Jeter-Jackson, Alison MacAvery and Steve White, along with Conservative James Doxsey, signed the letter.

They asked for Schumer and Murphy to co-sponsor the resolution to protect PACE programs along with Congressman John Hall and Maurice Hinchey and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, all of whom have already supported the effort.

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From ...

Highlights of the April 20, 2010 meeting of the Tompkins County Legislature

Sustainable Energy Financing Programs:

The Legislature by unanimous vote, asked the State to adopt pending legislation to "amend, strengthen, and correct technical deficiencies" within enabling legislation authorizing Sustainable Energy Financing Programs, which would allow the use of bonds and other sources of public and private financing to establish and implement such programs. The Tompkins County legislature last year supported the enabling legislation to establish such "green loan" programs for property owners for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements, but indicates that broader sources of funding are needed than are permitted in the current legislation.

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[text here below of resolution #2010228 from me, Kuffner, Jeter-Jackson, MacAvery, and Doxsey-- that I was forced to pull from the agenda this summer when it was clear GOP still going to kill it; text here below is modeled word for word after resolution that passed Albany County Legislature unanimously in February(; again-- email all 25 of us at [email protected] to get GOP off dime on this]

WHEREAS, by Chapter 497 of the laws of 2009, the State of New York authorized an amendment of the General Municipal Law by creating Article 5-L to allow municipalities to create Sustainable Energy Loan Programs to promote the deployment of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvement measures at residential and commercial properties, and

WHEREAS, the establishment of a Sustainable Energy Loan Program in Dutchess County would serve to assist in achieving statewide energy efficiency and renewable energy goals, reducing greenhouse emissions and mitigating the effect of global climate change and advance a clean energy economy, and

WHEREAS, a Sustainable Energy Loan Program would also bolster the economy of Dutchess County by saving county residents monies which they would otherwise spend on energy costs and by creating jobs for Dutchess County residents, and

WHEREAS, a Dutchess County Sustainable Energy Loan Program may create an opportunity for the County and State to obtain American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 ("ARRA") and/or other funding to support the program, and therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Dutchess County Legislature hereby authorizes the Dutchess County Sustainable Energy Loan Program and requests that the Dutchess County Executive undertake all necessary steps to implement the Dutchess County Sustainable Energy Loan Program as authorized by Article 5-L of the General Municipal Law, and, be it further

RESOLVED, that the Clerk of the Dutchess County Legislature is directed to forward certified copies of this resolution to the appropriate County Officials.

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Thanks to the thirty-seven Dutchess County residents below who have already signed on to our effort-- for Dutchess to follow the innovative PACE example of the City of Berkeley and allow homeowners here in our area the opportunity to be part of a voluntary sustainable energy financing district to install solar panels on their roofs-- the cost to be repaid over twenty years through an annual special tax on county property tax bills:

37. William Griffith every good idea helps 12583
36. Nora Edwards We need to start now to move to renewable energy. 12594
35. linda Puiatti solar: clean, cheap and available. 12531
34. Raymond Savoie very interested;home energy auditor 127 Noxon Rd Poughkeepsie,NY 12603
33. Dan Maciejak We also need the utility to buy back excess energy generated via solar / wind, the utility to be subsidized by the Federal Government. The next step! 12572
32. Nicholas O'Connor This is a necessary step in a necessary direction, and each step we take, as individual households, will add up to great progress. 1 Knights Way, Rhinebeck NY, 12572
31. Maria Katzenbach Making progress viable and affordable for all. 37 Williams Road, Red Hook, NY 12571
30. Zachary Frenzel 81 Bowman Rd, 12567
29. Emily Landri It's about time! 12540
28. Thomas Baldino I think this is a great way to cut costs, and help the environment. It is a win win situation all around. 19 North St., Beacon NY 12508
27. Chris 'Creek' Iersen What a great leap in the right direction of getting our energy sustainably. I volunteer my house to be the 'guinea pig'! 221 stonykill rd; wappingers falls, NY 12590
26. Sheryl Griffith And also NY needs to liberalize its eligibility requirements for state incentives and grid connectivity. In some state, for example, if your configuration is 70\\% efficient, you get 70\\% of the offered state reimbursement. But in NY if your system (due to shading or house orientation) is not at least 85\\% efficient, you get nothing. 227 Linden Ave, Red Hook, NY 12571
25. Rob This is obvious 22 IBM Road, 12603
24. Christian W. Meyer Provide a stimulus and smart people will use it. We need to promote alternative energy sources. 35 Oak Grove Road Salt Point, N.Y. 12578
23. Leonard Marcus I am VERY interested in going solar 10 Lorene Dr., LaGrangeville, NY 12540
22. Dana J. Tompkins The more this is done throughout the Country, the lower the cost would become, the more people could afford it, and the snowball will start to grow. Also solar panels can be put on the ground, so you don't have to have a south facing roof. 73 College Lane Millbrook, NY 12545
21. Laura H. Liebeck-Smith Please do this 23 Heather Dr Wappingers Falls, NY 12590
20. Cynthia Cowden let's go solar now 178 Main St #1, Beacon, NY 12508
19. Matthew Verrilli I support the proposal. 12572
18. Richard R Carlson What a great idea 3 Bowdoin Lane,Wappingers Falls NY 12590
17. Eliot Goodwin Please make solar a realiy in Dutchess County 12 Petra Lane, Albany, NY 12205
16. Annie Scibienski Yes to SOLAR 12572
15. Babette Brown Please make solar panels more afforable to Dutchess County residents 12508
14. Buffy L Herman we must do this to ensure a tomorrow for everyone! 12508
13. William W. Irwin Thank You 494 South Ave, Beacon, NY 12508
12. Colleen Hardiman Please enact this solar policy 35 Larch Court, Fishkill, NY 12524
11. Mark Neustadt I agree! 8 South Hinterlands Dr., Rhinebeck 12572
10. Douglas C. Smyth Any means to promote solar power is good for people and good for the earth. 12580
9. Patricia G. Lamanna If my home is eligible (it may not have enough south-facing rooftop space) I would participate. 27 Meyer Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603
8. Nicholas Sialmas Let's Make It Happen 12508
7. Jim Schumm More solar incentives would be good for Dutchess 12508
6. Cecilia Stancell Good idea 426 Bog Hollow Rd, Wassaic, NY; 12592
5. Randi Sackheim going in the right direction 12572
4. Angela Valles Good for Dutchess County! 404 Vassar Place, Fishkill, NY 12524
3. Connie Hogarth This is an extraordiinary positive direction to make a significant leap in our role to affect both the economy and global warming. 20 Hartsook Lane, Beacon NY 12508
2. Melanie Whaley good work 12545
1. Alicia Lenhart This is a great idea and I fully support it. 12572

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