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.
UC Davis researchers have identified 'high priority' dams in California where releasing water may be a key for the survival of native fish species.
Scientists may soon have a more accurate way to predict the extent and severity of droughts, floods and even the amount of food California can produce.
This week, crews from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife have hiked miles into Trinity County between Redding and the ocean. They've gone in to dismantle six illegal marijuana grows and clean up tons of waste and chemicals.
As California faces the prospect of another year of drought, a group tasked to coordinate water quality monitoring across state agencies is working to streamline the process.
On November 4th, California voters will decide the fate of a $7.5 billion bond intended to improve the state’s water system. Proposition 1 is one of the most closely watched measures on the ballot. But it has divided some environmental groups.