Leon Launches Energy Renovation, After Six Years In Court

Aug 8, 2017

With the solar and geo-thermal powered Sustainable Demonstration Center as a backdrop, Leon County officials gathered Tuesday with a handful of private contractors to launch PACE, or Property Assessed Clean Energy.  The program offers a new financing option for home renovations.

Renovate America is partnering with Leon County and the Florida Development Finance Corporation to offer a new financing option for major home improvements.
Credit Renovate America

Tallahassee residents are practically bombarded with energy efficiency programs offered through the city-owned utilities. But the county doesn’t have a utility.

Maggie Theriot, director of the Office of Resource Stewardship, says now county residents can pay for renovations through manageable payments tacked on to their property tax bill.

“A new roof, or a new AC, not all of us may have that luxury of just being able to pay for that project in full. And your contractor, upon being certified by PACE, may share that financing tool with you and the advantages of that.”

The city has about a dozen contractors, including solar, electrical and air conditioning, signed up or in training for certification. The first was New South Roofing owner Ricky Thursby, who installed a $13,000 roof for a retired homeowner with limited options.

“We helped a customer fix their house that otherwise wouldn’t have gotten financing. Secondly, he’s a vet and we’re really big on serving our country.”

Theriot says PACE had a difficult birth. State bankers and federal housing officials went to court to block it in 2010, and the U.S. and Florida Supreme courts eventually weighed in.

Now the program is offered through a public-private partnership with the Florida Development Finance Corporation and Renovate America.