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25 March 2010

Holsman: Clean Energy Bill Passes First Test

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - The Energy & Environment Committee of the Missouri House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) bill [HB2178] out of committee, as a part of the energy omnibus bill. PACE would allow municipalities to pass bond measure to help homeowners finance the purchase and installation of energy efficient improvements to their properties. The improvements, which might have too high of an up-front price to make them cost-effective for some homeowners, could be initially purchased by PACE funding and the costs would be slowly paid off by the homeowner on his or her property taxes. The legislation sponsored by Representatives Jason Holsman, D-Kansas City, and Rachel Storch, D-St. Louis, was added to the energy omnibus bill as an amendment.

"This is yet another step in the right direction" said Holsman, the ranking member on Energy and Environment who has made energy legislation a priority during his time in the House, "Municipalities like Kansas City can help their constituents become greener and more energy efficient. The return on investment is immense.  I realize in tough times, the environment takes a back seat, but our challenge of becoming energy independent is still very real.  PACE provides private citizens the opportunity to be a part of the solution."

All provisions of the legislation are completely voluntary, with no cost to the state.  Each city will decide if they wish to take advantage of the program.

"PACE is a game changer for energy efficiency and job creation," said Erin Noble, the Energy Policy Coordinator for Renew Missouri, A project of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, "People are excited about this bill because it eliminates the up-front costs and allows them to pay over a twenty-year period, so the energy efficiency savings are more than what the homeowner is paying each month for the additions." Noble went on to say that the Property Assessed Clean Energy bill will help put more Missourians to work updating older homes and making them more energy efficient.

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