Clean energy financing on board’s agenda

The Louisa County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing June 7 on a proposal to tweak the tax code to encourage more energy efficiency in commercial structures.

The proposed ordinance would allow commercial building owners to install solar panels and other improvements with loans at zero up-front cost. They would pay the expense off over time through an assessment on their local tax bills.

Abigail Johnson, executive director of the Virginia PACE Authority, told the supervisors during a presentation at their April 19 meeting that the cost to the county government to implement Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing (C-PACE) would be small. Some staff time would be needed to implement the program.  

The financing method would be available for energy efficiency upgrades, water conservation and resiliency and stormwater improvements. It’s available for commercial buildings and multifamily residential structures of five or more units, but not single-family housing.

When a building is enrolled in the program, the loan is placed as a lien on the property. That means that if the landowner sells the property, the loan doesn’t have to be paid off. Instead, the buyer inherits the financing.

The supervisors will hold several other public hearings on June 7. They will consider adding a new agricultural and forestal district in the Trevilians area and expanding the existing one in the Green Springs. Also on the agenda is a hearing on Sheila Thurston’s proposal to operate a private school and a related assisted living facility on her South Spotswood Trail property. 

The board will also vote on whether to entertain offers from people interested in buying a 32-acre property adjacent to the Reedy Creek subdivision in Ferncliff.


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