The State has created a $10 million reserve fund to reimburse mortgage lenders. The fund would repay the lenders if people who finance clean energy projects through property tax payments default on their loans.
Evan Westrup with Governor Jerry Brown's office says the Federal Housing Finance Agency prohibited mortgage lenders Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae from accepting additional liens for homeowners who wished to finance PACE projects.
"The main concern of the Federal Government was around the financial liability and potential cost if these properties fell into foreclosure," says Westrup.
Jonathan Gemma is with Aztec Solar in Sacramento. He says solar companies have lost business because mortgage lenders wouldn't agree to additional liens to repay clean energy projects.
"Now if there is this reserve fund in place was able to ease concerns of that mortgage lender that there is some backing to this," he says, "they would allow the PACE financing to go and this opens up the opportunity to more people to be able to finance energy efficient equipment."
Besides solar panels, eligible equipment under the PACE program includes low-flow toilets, insulation, and energy-efficient light fixtures.
The mortgage loss reserve program will be run by the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority.
Mandatory statewide water conservation rules have ended in California. But Sacramento-area users conserved 22 percent in June, compared to June 2013.
A UC Davis researcher has used pigeons to track lead pollution in New York City and plans to do the same in California cities and agricultural areas.
The state of Nevada will pay $120,000 to settle a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency complaint about storm water runoff pollution in Reno.
California is in the fifth consecutive year of drought, but state water managers ended mandatory conservation rules. Local water suppliers now determine conservation rates, and some have low or no targets. A water expert says that's 'shortsighted.'
California is in the fifth consecutive year of drought. Although mandatory statewide water conservation is over, the State Water Resources Control Board says water conservation remains a "top priority."