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St. Louis Building Trades Leader: Clean Energy Program Would Create 6K Jobs, $1B Economic Impact

I mean, c'mon. You can't argue with this graph.

I mean, c’mon. You can’t argue with this graph.

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In a recent op-ed for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis Building Trades Executive Secretary-Treasurer Jeff Aboussie came out in support of Missouri’s new Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) initiative. The program aims to “help homeowners use less energy, lower utility bills, make their homes safer and more comfortable, reduce emissions that cause climate change, and create local investment in a clean energy economy, including new construction-related jobs.”

But PACE is only available in cities that join a governmental subdivision called Missouri Clean Energy District. St. Louis has yet to opt in:

More than 60 Missouri municipalities have voted to make PACE available to their residents…Working families in St. Louis are looking to the city and county to pass a similar ordinance so that they, too, can take advantage of this innovative program to install anything from solar panels to a cool roof and more efficient windows and doors … or insulation, ductwork and air conditioning.

A strong city is built with a good, growing and sustainable job market. This means we need to invest in the upfront costs that drive that efficiency. Both of these ideals have the men and women of the skilled trades at their core.

PACE first launched eight years ago in California. It has seen considerable success since then. The premise is relatively simple, Aboussie explains:

Homeowners who want to increase their home’s efficiency can pay for home improvements rated to save energy over time through their property taxes. The improvements can be repaid over 20 years, depending on the useful life of the products installed. Homeowners can take advantage of PACE financing with no money down. And, because the financing is for a fixed asset that stays with the home, payments may be transferable to the new owner when the property is sold — unlike any other form of financing.

Aboussie envisions a Missouri where every city and county in the state has access to the program, which he consider a major job-creator:

It would stimulate the creation of 6,000 new family-wage jobs across the state over the next five years. These jobs would be the result of improvements made by 35,000-40,000 homeowners and lead to a total economic impact of $1 billion in our state.

Read entire op-ed.


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