SB County pushes for green energy district
Santa Barbara County is taking the first steps toward developing a new kind of special district that would allow property owners to finance insulation, solar and other energy efficiency projects that would be paid for on their property tax bills.
After a feasibility study was completed in November and submitted to the Board of Supervisors, staff were directed to contact cities in the county to test their willingness to participate in the program. Dave Matson, county director of Housing and Community Development, has been leading the effort to establish a county-wide Municipal Energy Finance District.
Modeled on a similar effort in Sonoma County, the Municipal Energy Finance District would create an alternative source of loan funds for homeowners and commercial property owners looking to improve energy efficiency. Matson said one advantage of the program is that it will pay for itself at least in part through reduced electric, gas and water bills.