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Sacramento, Yolo counties join loan program for ‘green’ home retrofits

Homeowners in Sacramento and Yolo counties soon will be able to get financial help for retrofitting their homes with environmentally friendly and energy-efficient projects.

In separate meetings Tuesday, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors and Sacramento City Council joined a pilot program that permits cities and counties to create financing districts to help residents pay for green fixes.

Along with Yolo County, they will operate programs as part of CaliforniaFIRST’s clean energy finance program.

Officials indicated that the cities of Woodland, Davis, West Sacramento and Winters also are expected to join.

Homeowners will be able to take out loans to make energy-efficient fixes on their properties, including air sealing, wall and roof insulation, energy efficient windows, tankless water heaters, solar panels and low-flow toilets.

The program allows property owners to pay the amount back as a line item on their property tax bill.

They would repay the loan over a number of years. The debt would stay with the property and not the owner until it is paid off.

CaliforniaFIRST’s statewide pilot program has more than a dozen counties and 146 cities participating.

The program will issue the bonds to fund the loans and handle the overall administration.

The program, which is voluntary, should be up and running by June.

Sacramento City Councilman Kevin McCarty, who led the capital city’s effort, said the program will enable homeowners to lower utility bills, reduce their carbon footprint and stimulate the economy with green jobs.

“This program also has the potential to create hundreds of jobs in our community,” said Cecilia Jensen, Sacramento County’s sustainability program manager.

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