Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Financing Districts for Local Governments

Improving energy efficiency in buildings is central to combating climate change, with more than a third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions coming from the building sector. Vital to this process is to develop innovative financing solutions that reach broadly across energy efficiency and low-carbon energy options. Energy Financing Districts were first proposed by the City of Berkeley, California in 2007 and have received increasing attention as a mechanism for financing residential or commercial clean energy projects, including energy efficiency, solar photovoltaic, or solar thermal systems. 

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Financing Districts help local government leaders advance their goals of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in their communities, furthering energy independence, and stimulating the local economy. This guide is designed to aid local government leaders in establishing Energy Financing Districts with the benefit of the experience from trailblazing communities such as Berkeley and Palm Desert in California; Boulder County, Colorado; and Babylon, New York.

This guide was created out of the Berkeley FIRST program and is designed for local government officials, local government decision-makers, state policymakers, and civil society groups interested in getting an Energy Financing District program established in their region.

Please find a pdf version of the guide here: Guide to Renewable Energy Financing Districts   

 Legislation to establish PACE financing program: 

Although the Berkeley FIRST pilot program has concluded, PACE financing is still available to Berkeley building owners, see

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