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PACE in CT: Preston selectmen consider joining C-PACE program

Preston  Town officials are considering joining eight other southeastern Connecticut municipalities participating in a state-sponsored energy-efficiency program that provides loans to businesses and nonprofit entities collected through special assessments on their tax bills.

The Board of Selectmen heard a presentation Thursday by Alex Kovtunenko, junior counsel for the Connecticut Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE), a program run by the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority.

The program offers loans to businesses and nonprofit entities – such as churches and YMCAs – to finance 100 percent of the cost of energy upgrade projects. The loan payments, typically at 5 to 6 percent interest, are paid back through a method akin to a sewer assessment lien on the property.

The energy assessment lien would be charged to the loan recipient as a separate line item on the tax bill, with the payment going to the town. The town tax collector then would remit the payment to C-PACE.

Although the town would not be paid for routine hand ling of the payments, C-PACE would reimburse the town for any undue burdens the system might put on the town, such as software upgrades or extra training needed, Kovtunenko said.  Read more.