Energy- and storm-related property improvements to be focus of upcoming county workshops

UF/IFAS staff assisting the public with details about financing through PACE program

Workers install solar panels on a house. Image courtesy UF/IFAS Extension and Sustainability

Private property owners interested in making energy- or storm-related property improvements are invited to learn more about financing available through the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program in Sarasota County, the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension and Sustainability Program in the county has announced.

County staff will host free public workshops to highlight elements of PACE, including what people should consider when evaluating the various financing tools for projects, a news release explains.

“PACE is a unique but complicated tool with the potential to support a variety of property improvements,” said Lee Hayes Byron, UF/IFAS Extension and Sustainability director, in the release. “These workshops are designed to help residents and business owners understand how it works and what they need to consider.”

“The PACE program, a joint undertaking between special districts and private companies, allows property owners to finance improvement projects through specially levied property taxes,” the release points out. Financing can be used only for projects related to renewable energy, energy efficiency and hurricane hardening, the release emphasizes.

As with any financing, the release notes, “PACE has inherent risks,” so property owners need to fully understand “the terms, risks, and other options before entering into any agreement”

Each Financing Energy and Hurricane Improvements in Your Home: PACE and Beyond workshop will focus on explaining the basics of PACE, how the program works, and the financial benefits and risks associated with it, the release adds.

Several workshops are scheduled in coming weeks.

In-person sessions (learn more and register at http://bit.ly/paceworkshops) are set as follows:

  • Wednesday, May 29, from 5-7 p.m., at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, located at 1845 34th St. in Sarasota.
  • Tuesday, June 11, from 5-7 p.m., at the Venice Community Center, located at 326 Nokomis Ave. S. in Venice.

An online webinar is planned on Wednesday, June 12, from noon to 1 p.m. Register at https://ufl.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-nHs6RgqTqqxOPYHGrX8nw.

After June 12, workshops will be scheduled on demand. Visit https://www.scgov.net/government/uf-ifas-extension-and-sustainability/pace.

To learn more about PACE in Sarasota County, visit www.scgov.net/government/uf-ifas-extension-and-sustainability/pace or contact Lee Hayes Byron, Sarasota County Extension director, at 861-9808 or lhbyron@scgov.net.

To receive updates on PACE and upcoming classes, or if you have questions, call 861-5000 or email sustainablesarasota@scgov.net.

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