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Want solar panels on your property? D.C. will help you pay for them.

August 21
Sergey Nikolaev pays about $1,400 a month for electricity to power the BP gas station, repair shop and carwash he owns along Georgia Avenue NW in Brightwood. Through a new city-government-backed program, Nikolaev will install solar panels on his roof next month in the hope of cutting his electric bill to just $300 a month.Nikolaev will pay no upfront costs for the $157,000 project, and after he repays his loans for the panels over 20 years, he expects to save $56,000.

The administration of Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) announced Friday that the city’s Property Assessed Energy Act program is officially open for business — and Nikolaev’s soon-to-be-retrofitted gas station is its first client. The PACE program, which is tied to legislation the District approved in 2012, allows the city to finance energy upgrades through property tax bills.

“The solar-panel system always made financial sense, but the absence of financing was a big reason why I couldn’t do it before,” Nikolaev said. “It’s definitely saving me money, and it’s beautifying the station.”

This is the Bowser administration’s latest clean-energy announcement — a push city officials see as closely connected with the local economy.

Last week, officials announced that the city is receiving enough electricity from wind power to meet one-third of the local government’s electricity needs through a deal with the Spanish energy company Iberdrola Renewables that took effect Aug. 1.

The PACE program will allow commercial building owners in the city to avoid upfront costs and obtain relatively low-interest loans to retrofit their properties with energy-efficient amenities. Read more.


Summit 2024

June 12-13
Nashville, Tennessee

Join hundreds other PACE professionals for two days of extensive educational and networking opportunities at the premier global PACE event!