New option for energy efficiency upgrades in South Lake Tahoe |

New option for energy efficiency upgrades in South Lake Tahoe

Tom Lotshaw

A new program in South Lake Tahoe lets people improve the energy and water efficiency of their commercial properties and then finance the improvements with an assessment lien and additional property tax payments.

South Lake Tahoe City Council approved the Property Assessed Clean Energy program this week and is partnering with Figtree Financial, a San Diego-based firm that will market the program and offer private funding to pay for the property improvements.

The California Legislature authorized the Property Assessed Clean Energy program in 2010 and Figtree offers the program in dozens of cities and several counties in the state.

The program lets property owners finance 100 percent of the cost of eligible improvements. It will pay for solar energy systems, energy efficient windows, doors, roofing, insulation, lighting and heating and air conditioning, as well as low-flow bathroom fixtures, toilets and irrigation controls.

Improvements must be permanently fixed to the property to be eligible for the financing.

Repayment is tied to the property. If the property is sold or transferred the new owner assumes an obligation to repay the remaining balance through the property taxes.

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Financing terms can range from five to 20 years and are based on the expected life of the improvements.

Figtree Financial is offering the program to commercial properties in South Lake Tahoe, not to residential properties, though the City Council authorized it to serve both types of property.

"There's no impact to the city, no responsibility for repayment for the city," said Mark Carlson, administrative services director for South Lake Tahoe. "The only thing we're getting out of this is a great opportunity for citizens to improve their properties."

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