[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Saco 12-6-2010. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Building energy conservation — See Ch. 74.
By and through this chapter, the City of Saco declares as its public purpose the establishment of a municipal program to enable its citizens to participate in a property assessed clean energy (PACE) program so that owners of qualifying property can access financing for energy-saving improvements to their properties located in the City The City declares its purpose and the provisions of this chapter to be in conformity with federal and state laws.
Enabling legislation. The City enacts this chapter pursuant to 35-A M.R.S.A. § 10151, et seq.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "City of Saco Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Ordinance" (the Ordinance).
Definitions. Except as specifically defined below, words and phrases used in this chapter shall have their customary meanings; as used in this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings indicated:
- ENERGY-SAVING IMPROVEMENT
- An improvement to qualifying property that is new and permanently affixed to qualifying property and that:
- (1) Will result in increased energy efficiency and substantially reduced energy use and:
- (a) Meets or exceeds applicable United States Environmental Protection Agency and United States Department of Energy, Energy Star program or similar energy efficiency standards established or approved by the Trust; or
- (b) Involves air sealing, insulating, and other energy efficiency improvements of residential, commercial or industrial property in a manner approved by the Trust; or
- (2) Involves a renewable energy installation or an electric thermal storage system that meets or exceeds standards established or approved by the Trust.
- The City of Saco.
- PACE AGREEMENT
- An agreement between the owner of qualifying property and the municipality that authorizes the creation of a PACE mortgage on qualifying property and that is approved in writing by all owners of the qualifying property at the time of the agreement, other than mortgage holders.
- PACE ASSESSMENT
- An assessment made against qualifying property to repay a PACE loan.
- PACE DISTRICT
- The area within which the municipality establishes a PACE program hereunder, which is all that area within the municipality's boundaries.
- PACE LOAN
- A loan, secured by a PACE mortgage, made to the owner(s) of a qualifying property pursuant to a PACE program to fund energy-saving improvements.
- PACE MORTGAGE
- A mortgage securing a loan made pursuant to a PACE program to fund energy-saving improvements on qualifying property.
- PACE PROGRAM
- A program established under state statute by the Trust or a municipality under which property owners can finance energy-savings improvements on qualifying property.
- QUALIFYING PROPERTY
- Real property located in the PACE District of the municipality.
- RENEWABLE ENERGY INSTALLATION
- A fixture, product, system, device or interacting group of devices installed behind the meter at a qualifying property, or on contiguous property under common ownership, that produces energy or heat from renewable sources, including, but not limited to, photovoltaic systems, solar thermal systems, biomass systems, landfill gas to energy systems, geothermal systems, wind systems, wood pellet systems and any other systems eligible for funding under federal qualified energy conservation bonds or federal clean renewable energy bonds.
- The Efficiency Maine Trust established in 35-A M.R.S.A. § 10103 and/or its agent(s), if any.
Establishment; funding. The City of Saco hereby establishes a PACE program allowing owners of qualifying property located in the PACE District who so choose to access financing for energy-saving improvements to their property through PACE loans. PACE loan funds may come from a variety of sources. To the extent that PACE loan funds are made available from the Trust, these are made available in municipalities that:
Adopt a PACE ordinance;
Adopt and implement a local public outreach and education plan;
Administer the functions of a PACE program, including, but not limited to, entering into PACE agreements with owners of qualifying property and collecting PACE assessments, all in accordance with the PACE Act and the Trust's rules and regulations; and
Require that participants in the PACE program comply with requirements for the Home Energy Savings Program administered by the Trust.
Amendment to PACE program. In addition, the City of Saco may from time to time amend this chapter to use any other funding sources made available to it or appropriated by it for the express purpose of its PACE program, and the municipality shall be responsible for administration of loans made from those other funding sources.
Standards adopted; rules promulgated; model documents. If the Trust or other state or federal agency adopts standards, promulgates rules, or establishes model documents subsequent to the City's adoption of this chapter and those standards, rules or model documents substantially conflict with this chapter and/or with the City's manner of participation in the PACE program, the City shall take necessary steps to conform this chapter and/or its manner of participation in the PACE program to those standards, rules, or model documents.
PACE administration. The municipality will administer its PACE program pursuant to and consistent with the PACE Act, 35-A M.R.S.A. § 10151, et seq. The City's administration of its PACE program shall include the following:
The City will enter into PACE agreements with owners of qualifying property in the City's PACE District;
The City, or its agent, will create and record a notice of the PACE agreement in the appropriate County Registry of Deeds to create a PACE mortgage;
The City, or its agent, will disburse the PACE loan to the property owner;
The City, or its agent, will send PACE assessment statements with payment deadlines to the property owner;
The City, or its agent, will be responsible for collection of the PACE assessments;
The City, or its agent, will record any lien, if needed, due to nonpayment of the PACE assessment;
The City, or its agent on behalf of the City, promptly shall record the discharges of PACE mortgages upon full payment of the PACE loan.
The City's PACE program shall be consistent with any terms and conditions the Trust may establish by rule under 35-A M.R.S.A. § 10154(4).
As required by 35-A M.R.S.A. § 10155(3), federal laws and regulations regarding the privacy of consumer information apply to all consumer financial information obtained by the Trust or municipality in implementing its PACE program.
As required by 35-A M.R.S.A. § 10155(1), a PACE agreement entered into by the municipality pursuant to its PACE program must comply with underwriting requirements established by rule by the Trust.
As required by 35-A M.R.S.A. § 10155(2), a PACE agreement entered into by the municipality pursuant to its PACE program must provide consumer disclosure consistent with the principles of truth in lending as specified in rules adopted by the Trust.
As required by 35-A M.R.S.A. § 10157(2), a PACE agreement entered into by the municipality pursuant to its PACE program shall provide that all rights related to carbon emissions reductions resulting from those improvements are deemed to be assigned by the property owner to the Trust and are held by the Trust.
Adoption of education and outreach program. In conjunction with adopting this chapter, the municipality shall adopt and implement an education and outreach program so that citizens of the municipality are made aware of home energy-saving opportunities, including the opportunity to finance energy saving improvements with a PACE loan.
Assessments not a tax. PACE assessments do not constitute a tax but may be assessed and collected by the municipality in any manner allowed under the PACE program and consistent with applicable law.
PACE mortgages and PACE assessments. PACE mortgages shall be recorded and PACE assessments shall be assessed and collected as provided in 35-A M.R.S.A. § 10156.
Liability of municipal officials; liability of municipality.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, municipal officers and municipal officials, including, without limitation, tax assessors and tax collectors, are not personally liable to the Trust or to any other person for claims, of whatever kind or nature, under or related to a PACE program, including, without limitation, claims for or related to uncollected PACE assessments.