Board of Supervisors motion to suspend PACE program, which aids in adding energy-efficiency to homes

Opponents argue it makes homes harder to resell
Posted at 7:15 PM, Jun 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-14 22:22:44-04

On Tuesday, the Kern County Board of Supervisors motioned to suspend the Property Assessed Clean Energy Program in Kern County, otherwise known as PACE. The program was designed to help Kern County homeowners install energy-efficient additions to their homes.

Realtors argue that the program was designed with good intentions, but it's made it difficult to resell homes.

"It has created a situation where some people simply can't sell their house because they owe more than what the house is now valued at," said Jeanne Radsick, a local realtor.

Radsick said the PACE program can leave the homeowner with liens--or debts--attached to the property. That makes it difficult for the homeowner to refinance because they are categorized as superior liens.

It also makes it hard to sell the property, and the homeowner will see it reflected on their taxes.

"When they get their taxes back and their tax bill has jumped by double what they can afford on a fixed income, now they can't afford their house anymore," Radsick says.

She also says that the program has opened the door for bad contractors to charge more for services by saying the program can cover it.

"We have no way of monitoring these folks," she said.

Supporters of PACE say the program helps those in low-income improve their property, but the Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to suspend the program.

The lone vote in opposition came from Leticia Perez, who said she's concerned about the loss of jobs locally.

Another vote on this will take place on July 11; realtors are also looking to get the Bakersfield City Council to rescind their resolution so PACE can be removed from play in Bakersfield.