A new financing program in Placer County will assist property owners in installing water and energy efficient technology to help lower utility bills and create hundreds of local jobs.

With an initial commitment of $33 million from the County Treasury, mPOWER Placer was announced Monday by Placer County Treasurer-Tax Collector Jenine Windeshausen and the Placer County Board of Supervisors.

“mPOWER Placer provides financing for Placer county property owners to make water and energy efficiency improvements including high efficiency windows and insulation, tankless water heaters, low flow water devices and smart sprinklers; heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) zone control systems and solar energy systems,” Windeshausen said. 

“They can save 10 percent to 50 percent on home energy bills by making smart energy improvements.  And during these difficult times, Placer County is investing in our community to create jobs, support small businesses and help residents.”

Thanks to Assembly Bill 811, local governments have the authority to finance the installation of energy efficiency and water efficiency improvements that are permanently affixed to residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural or other real property. 

The amount financed is put on an amortized schedule and the annual amount due is added to the owner’s property tax bill each year until paid in full.  The thought is that the conserved amounts of water and energy easily pay for the additional amount added to the property tax bill.

In the case that the property is sold, the unpaid balance is assumed by the new owner’s property tax bill.

Placer County is only the second county in the state to create a comprehensive financing program under AB 811.

“I signed AB 811 to enable local governments throughout California to create their own incentive-based approach to economic development, job creation and energy conservation,” Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said. 

“mPOWER Placer is a great example of putting the purpose of the legislation into action and  can serve as a model for other areas throughout the state.  This program will have a positive impact on the local economy at a time when it is needed most.”

The program applies to all property owners – residential, commercial and agricultural.  People can learn how to apply online at mPOWERPlacer.org.