The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved Tuesday a “green loan” program to help property owners pay for green upgrades of their buildings, which will help San Francisco reduce its carbon emissions.
Supervisor Eric Mar, working in collaboration with the mayor’s office, introduced the legislation to create the program. Financing tools will help property owners afford to pay for such things as window replacements, efficient lighting installation, solar installations and rainwater capture.
“This program would help us reduce significantly our city’s green house gas emissions much of it which comes from local buildings and at the same time also reduce our excessive water use in buildings,” Mar said.
“The program is intended to assist property owners in the City with financing and refinancing the acquisition, installation and improvement of energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation projects attached to their buildings,” according to a memo from Nadia Sesay, director of public finance. “Individual property owners will contract directly with qualified installers and contractors for energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation projects on their buildings.”
Property owners not participating in the program will not be impacted. Nor will The City’s operating budget.
“The City will facilitate the financing for the projects. Projects will be funded from proceeds derived from the issuance and sale of special tax bonds that are repaid solely from and secured solely by special taxes assessed on participating property owners’ property tax bills over approximately 20 years,” the memo said.
In August 2008, The City adopted a special tax financing code that allows the formation of a special tax district. The code allows The City to create an “opt in” special tax financing district to fund energy improvements to local buildings
Such districts are allowable under the Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982, which allows local governments in California to finance community facilities and services through the levy of special taxes.