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.
The increase in the number of wildfires in California and the western U.S. may partly be caused by climate change.
The San Joaquin Valley enjoyed three weeks of healthy air in July for the first time in 20 years.
The California Fish and Game Commission voted Wednesday to ban bobcat trapping in the state.
President Barack Obama says it’s time for the US to get serious about climate change. But long-time observers say California law and policy makers have been enacting tough environmental laws for years.
Three workshops are scheduled in Truckee to give people a voice in developing a 'brand' for the town.