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County votes to expand clean energy financing program to homeowners

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved extending the county’s solar-energy financing program to homeowners.

The program, known as property-assessed clean energy, or PACE, has allowed commercial properties within unincorporated areas to be upgraded with solar energy or other energy-saving improvements through privately raised funds paid down over time as a surcharge on future property tax bills.

The expanded PACE program will give unincorporated-area homeowners the same option to install energy-saving devices in their homes, Supervisor Dave Roberts said.

The five-member board's vote was unanimous.

“This is a huge breakthrough because it will provide another path for homeowners to tap into solar energy and to unplug themselves from SDG&E,” Supervisor Dianne Jacob, board chairwoman, said in a statement. “This brings us closer to a vision many of us share -- rooftop solar all across sunny San Diego County.”

Roberts said it could also serve to stimulate the local economy.

Homeowners in unincorporated parts of the county will be able to apply for PACE financing within the next few months, the board said.

The three vendors through which the program will be carried out are the HERO financing program of Renovate America Inc., Figtree Financing and the CaliforniaFirst program.

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