[Adopted 11-14-2011 by Ord. No. 11-19. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is the establishment of a municipal program to enable owners of qualifying property to participate in a Property Assessed Clean Energy ("PACE") Program so that owners of qualifying property can access financing for energy-saving improvements to such properties located in the Town. The Town declares its purpose and the provisions of this chapter to be in conformity with federal and state laws.
The authority for this chapter is Maine Revised Statutes, Title 35-A, Public Utilities, Part 8, Energy Efficiency, Chapter 99, Property Assessed Clean Energy, known and cited as "the Property Assessed Clean Energy Act" or "the PACE Act."
This chapter is known and may be cited as "the Town of Kittery Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Ordinance."
Words and phrases used in this chapter have their customary meanings, except as specifically defined below; or as defined in 35-A M.R.S. § 10153, Definitions, as may be amended from time to time; or as found in Rule 95-648, Efficiency Maine Trust, Chapter 110: Pace Program Regulations: Loan Underwriting Standards, Consumer Disclosure Requirements, Terms and Conditions of Participation and Quality Assurance System, Part II, Section 1, Definitions. As used in this chapter, the following words and phrases have the meanings indicated:
- ENERGY-SAVING IMPROVEMENT
- An improvement to qualifying property that is new and permanently affixed to qualifying property and that:
- A. Will result in increased energy efficiency and substantially reduced energy use and:
- (1) Meets or exceeds applicable United States Environmental Protection Agency and United States Department of Energy Energy Star® Program or similar energy-efficiency standards established or approved by the Trust; or
- (2) Involves weatherization, including, but not limited to, an energy audit, air sealing, insulating, and other energy-efficiency improvements and test out, for residential property in a manner approved by the Trust; or
- B. Involves a renewable energy installation or an electric thermal storage system that meets or exceeds standards established or approved by the Trust.
- PACE AGREEMENT
- An agreement between the owner of qualifying property and the Trust that authorizes the creation of a PACE mortgage on qualifying property and that is approved in writing by all owners of the qualifying property at the time of the agreement, other than mortgage holders.
- PACE ASSESSMENT
- An assessment made against qualifying property to repay a PACE mortgage.
- PACE DISTRICT
- All that area within the Town's boundaries within which the PACE Program is established hereunder.
- PACE LOAN
- A loan, secured by a PACE mortgage, made to the owner(s) of a qualifying property pursuant to the PACE Program to fund energy-saving improvements.
- PACE MORTGAGE
- A mortgage securing a loan made pursuant to the PACE Program to fund energy-saving improvements on qualifying property.
- PACE PROGRAM
- The program established under state statute by the Trust and the Town under which property owners can finance energy-saving improvements on qualifying property.
- QUALIFYING PROPERTY
- Real property located in the Town that participates in the PACE Program pursuant to this chapter.
- RENEWABLE ENERGY INSTALLATION
- A fixture, product, system, device or interacting group of devices installed behind the meter at a qualifying property, or on contiguous property under common ownership, that produces energy or heat from renewable sources, including, but not limited to, photovoltaic systems, solar thermal systems, biomass systems, landfill gas to energy systems, geothermal systems, wind systems, wood pellet systems and any other systems eligible for funding under federal qualified energy conservation bonds or federal clean renewable energy bonds.
- The Efficiency Maine Trust established in 35-A M.R.S. § 10103 and/or its agent(s), if any.
Establishment; funding. The Town hereby establishes a PACE Program allowing owners of qualifying property located in the Town who so choose to access financing for energy-saving improvements to their property through PACE loans administered by the Trust or its agent. PACE loan funds are made available from the Trust in the Town by:
Adoption of this PACE Ordinance;
An adopted and implemented local public outreach and education plan;
Entering into a PACE administration contract with the Trust to establish the terms and conditions of the Trust's administration of the Town's PACE Program; and
Agreeing to assist and cooperate with the Trust in its administration of the Town's PACE Program.
Amendment to PACE Program. In addition, the Town may from time to time amend this chapter to use any other funding sources made available to it or appropriated by it for the express purpose of its PACE Program, and the Town is responsible for administration of loans made from those other funding sources.
If the Trust adopts standards, promulgates rules, or establishes model documents subsequent to the Town's adoption of this chapter and those standards, rules or model documents substantially conflict with this chapter, the Town shall take necessary steps to conform this chapter and its PACE Program to those standards, rules, or model documents.
PACE administration contract. Pursuant to 35-A M.R.S. § 10154, Subdivision 2A(2) and B, the Town will enter into a PACE administration contract with the Trust to administer the functions of the PACE Program for the Town. The PACE administration contract with the Trust will establish the administration of the PACE Program, including, without limitation, that:
The Trust will enter into PACE agreements with owners of qualifying property in the Town's PACE district;
The Trust, or its agent, will create and record a notice of the PACE agreement in the appropriate county registry of deeds to create a PACE mortgage;
The Trust, or its agent, will disburse the PACE loan to the property owner;
The Trust, or its agent, will send PACE assessment statements with payment deadlines to the property owners;
The Trust, or its agent, will be responsible for collection of the PACE assessments;
The Trust, or its agent, will record any lien, if needed, due to nonpayment of the assessment;
The Trust or its agent on behalf of the Town, promptly shall record the discharge of a PACE mortgage upon full payment of the PACE loan;
The Trust, or its agent, will be responsible for management of federal grant funds; and
The Trust, or its agent, will ensure the collection of data required to quantify carbon savings and to facilitate access to and eligibility for voluntary carbon markets, for federal grants for energy efficiency and for other incentive programs that support energy-saving improvements.
Adoption of education and outreach program. The Town shall adopt and implement an education and outreach program so that citizens of the Town are made aware of home energy-saving opportunities, including the opportunity to finance energy-saving improvements with a PACE loan.
Assistance and cooperation. The Town will assist and cooperate with the Trust in its administration of the Town's PACE Program.
Assessments not a tax. PACE assessments do not constitute a tax but may be assessed and collected by the Trust in any manner determined by the Trust and consistent with applicable law.
Liability of municipal officials. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the Town of Kittery, its officers, officials and employees, including, without limitation, Tax Assessors and Tax Collectors, are not personally liable to the Trust or to any other person for claims, of whatever kind or nature, under or related to a PACE Program, including, without limitation, claims for or related to uncollected PACE assessments.
Liability of Town. Other than the fulfillment of its obligations specified in a PACE administration contract with the Trust entered into under § 13.5.6A above, a Town has no liability to a property owner for or related to energy-saving improvements financed under a PACE Program.