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PACE program causes issues for Charlotte County homeowners

Why commissioners want the program gone
Posted at 12:06 PM, Jul 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-24 12:06:29-04

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla — A program designed to help homeowners could get taken away because of fraud. Now Charlotte County commissioners want the Property Assessed Clean Energy program gone.

It was supposed to help homeowners pay for things like roof replacements and ac units, to cut down on energy bills. But now Charlotte county commissioners say there are way too many loop holes

“We’re going to give them the ability to make these improvements which will improve their energy efficiency, which will save them money.” Commissioner Christopher Constance said. “Here’s the catch phrase, it will pay for itself. I don’t see it paying for itself, so I don’t even need this on the regular agenda, you can put it on consent, we need to end this program.”

PACE was approved in 2010 by the state legislature. It lets people finance one-hundred percent of the cost for energy saving renovations and pay for it later in their tax bill.

Charles bear is the director of tax operations for the tax collector’s office, and he says accepting the loan puts people that were in good standing before in a position that could cost their homes.

“It tends to be sold as a monthly, that it’ll only cost you a hundred bucks a month, or something like that but the reality is the bill comes due in November and its one lumpsum of twelve hundred dollars.” He said.

Bear tells us there is also an issue with contractors marking up the price of services, and there are penalties for paying the loan off early. The county commissioners will meet again this month to decide pace’s fate and are looking for more input from the community.