Dan Nore | 25th Street and Greg Hibbard | 8th Street
Solar-powered trash can. Photo Dan Nore.
for info about its location, click here.
Beginning this summer Del Mar residents and businesses will be able to participate in a unique finance program that encourages the “greening” of local properties. Projects can include improvements, replacements and/or additions of: Air Sealing, Heating-Ventilation-Air Conditioning, Insulation, Windows, Solar Electric Panels and Solar Water Heaters.
The program, CaliforniaFIRST, allows property owners to implement energy efficient and renewable energy projects at their homes and businesses with costs assessed to the property tax. As a result projects can be implemented without a significant initial outlay of funds or an improvement loan because the cost of the project is repaid on the property tax bill over a period as long as 20 years. And, because the energy efficiency upgrades and systems add value to the property, the loan repayment cost remains with the property. Financing eligibility is based on the value of your property and the current status of tax payments, not on personal credit.
The City’s Energy Issues Advisory Committee (EIAC) recommended the program to the Del Mar City Council and it was unanimously adopted on March 22. EIAC believes the program provides yet another critical step to achieving their goals of fostering environmental responsibility, maintaining a high quality of life for Del Mar residents, reducing local greenhouse gas emission and supporting job creation. The Committee first looked into establishing the finance program in 2008 but made a final recommendation to the City Council to go ahead only after CaliforniaFIRST, a joint powers authority sponsored by the California Sate Association of Counties and the League of California Cities, assumed the necessary administrative and financial responsibilities.
CaliforniaFIRST is scheduled to initially roll out as a pilot in a limited number of counties and cities with applications for projects being accepted this summer. Over the next few months additional information will be made available to local contractors as well as home and business owners. Del Mar joins the cities of Solana Beach, Encinitas, Carlsbad and Oceanside within North County providing this option for their residents.
Editors Note: Nore and Hibbard are members of the EIAC, created in 2005 to assist the City Council in promoting clean and reliable energy and in taking a leadership role in educating residents and businesses about energy savings programs. They meet the third Thursday of every month from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Check the City website for meeting location.