The NJ Legislature is presently considering the creation of a property assessment clean energy (PACE) municipal financing program. Under the proposed legislation, introduced as Senate bill S1406 on February 11, 2010, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) in consultation with the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) is charged with providing money through low-cost sources of financing, such as qualified energy conservation bonds, to municipalities interested in facilitating the purchase of solar equipment by property owners. In exchange for these funds, the proposed legislation provides that the benefitted property owners subject their properties to a special assessment and receive solar renewable energy credits through the BPU.
Both the special assessment payments and the solar renewable energy credits shall be assigned by the municipality and the homeowner to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, and the proceeds from the assessments and the sale of the solar renewable energy credits shall be used by New Jersey Economic Development Authority to pay bondholders and to provide financial incentives to municipalities to participate in the ‘Municipal Solar Energy Financing Program.’ S. 1406, 214th Leg., 2010-2011 Sess., § 2.b. (N.J. 2010).
An identical bill to S1406 was introduced in the NJ State Assembly on March 15, 2010, as A2502.