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Green Bill Hits its 1st Green Light

April 17, 2010

The program is called Property Assessed Clean Energy.  Wait! Don’t fall asleep just yet.  Yes, the name is boring, but if you like this blog at all, you’ll appreciate this post.  Basically, this program allows cities and counties to do what it does best, issue bonds.  But these bonds would allow homeowners to make their house more green.  The homeowner has 20 years to pay the whole thing off.  And if you really want more details, a different sort-of property tax assessment would help homeowners pay off the loan.

This legislation is moving through the Missouri State Capitol right now. It’s called HB 1871 if you’re interested in tracking it. I found it on this article by AP journalist Sarah D. Wire entitled, Mo homeowners could get help going green. So far, it’s passed the house by an overwhelming margin, and the fact that a similar bill is moving through the Senate shows this green legislation has broad support at a time when few things do.

This is all well and good, but a big problem with a lot of this energy stuff is doing it without making the green improvements more expensive than the house.  Wire addressed that concern in her article.  She wrote, “The legislation requires the projects be financially feasible.”

Missouri is not going out on a green limb with this legislation; other states have led the way.  Other states like California and Vermont who have done this have standards so high costs don’t destroy the whole project.  For example,  Wire wrote the states restrict bankruptcy, don’t allow large mortgages and don’t allow green facelifts more than 10 percent the home’s worth.

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