Tag Archives: California First

Californians Waste A Lot Of Water

By Roy L Hales

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Water is a finite resource. According to Stephanie Feldstein of the Center of Biological Diversity, “Every time you turn on the tap, that water is coming from rivers, lakes and streams that wildlife depend on.” With Levi Strauss & Co’s help, the Center created the “Don’t Be a Drip” to identify some of the most wasteful activities and counties in the United States. Despite a four year long drought, they discovered Californians waste a lot of water.

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Cisco DeVries Explains How PACE is Giving Preference To Mortgages

It has been eight years since Cisco DeVries invented Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans. They were meant to spur the mass adoption of residential solar, but have also proven to be an effective means of financing other energy and water saving devices. If PACE weren’t classified as a tax, it would have been offered through-out America years ago. Instead, five years ago Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac urged local governments to put their PACE programs on hold and the vast majority of PACE projects have been in California. That is about to change. Cisco DeVries explains how PACE is changing.

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California First Helped Bring PACE Home

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1It has been seven years since Cisco DeVries came up with what Scientific American would later call one of the top 20 “world-changing” ideas of the year. He was the Mayor of Berkeley’s Chief of staff. They were thinking about ways to hasten the adoption of solar technology. DeVries realized the breakthrough they needed was financial rather than technological. The $20,000 or $30,000 people needed to install a solar system was a hefty bill. He was looking for a way the city could help when a northern Berkeley neighbourhood asked to have their utility lines put underground. This improvement was to be financed through their property taxes. DeVries realized this was the vehicle that could finance the adoption of solar and other energy improvements. The Property Assessed Clean Energy (P.A.C.E.) program was born. There are many questions remaining about the events ahead. One of them is how did California First help bring PACE home?

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