Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Play

A new Supreme Court case will focus on state legislative control of federal elections, community health centers seek protection against Big Pharma, and Oregon's estuary management plan gets an update.

Play

A shooting near Chicago leaves six dead and dozens injured, Democratic governors huddle to ensure abortion access, and officials say the "Remain in Mexico" immigration policy will be phased out in the coming weeks.

Play

From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

MT Program Makes Building Efficiency Upgrades Affordable

Play

Monday, May 17, 2021   

HELENA, Mont. -- Montana lawmakers passed a measure this year which will make it easier for commercial building owners to upgrade aging infrastructure.

Commercial Property Assessed Capital Enhancements (C-PACE) financing spreads out what can be expensive upfront costs for energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation improvements.

Ed Gulick, vice president of High Plains Architects and chair of the Clean Energy Task Force for the Northern Plains Resource Council, said energy efficiency in buildings has a high return on investment.

"It's a mechanism that allows us to harvest the wasted energy in a useful way to pay for efficiency," Gulick explained.

Gulick noted the savings on utilities are designed to be more than the annual costs paid for the improvements. He pointed out projects that could be financed include insulation, more efficient heating and cooling, and solar panels. C-PACE also provides a third-party evaluation, so building owners can figure out where to start.

He emphasized the financing mechanism has a unique structure. Because owners might sell a building after a few years, they might also be reluctant to take out loans to invest in upgrades.

Gulick added that's why upgrades are repaid as a small assessment on the property's annual tax bill.

"A loan is just attached to a person, where a tax assessment is attached to a property," Gulick stressed. "And so if somebody sells the property, the next building owner would continue to pay the remainder of that assessment, which is appropriate because they're going to benefit from those improvements."

Gov. Greg Gianforte signed the bill into law last week. Local governments can decide if they want to participate. Legislation in more than three dozen states has enabled C-PACE financing.

Disclosure: Northern Plains Resource Council contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, and Rural/Farming issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Coal-fired energy generation accounts for as much as 80% of air pollutants in some parts of the country. (lilifest/Adobe Stock)

Environment

Groups working to curb climate change said a Supreme Court ruling limiting the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to control carbon …


Environment

Government labels on meat products that say "humane" or "raised in a stress-free environment" are meaningless, according to some animal-rights groups…

Social Issues

A new report found when high school students enroll in early college programs, it improves the chances they will go on to college after graduation…


From 2006 to 2015, more than 17,000 Pennsylvanians filed flood claims with FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program, for more than $550 million in damages. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

As hurricane season kicks into full gear, Pennsylvania officials are reflecting on the impacts of Hurricane Agnes 50 years ago, and urging property …

Health and Wellness

Texas is home to one in 10 Americans of reproductive age, and mandated births due to the state's abortion ban will increase the number of maternal …

The 340B Drug Pricing Program is an outpatient drug program. (HeungSoon/Pixabay)

Social Issues

Community health centers are calling on state and federal lawmakers for added protections against drug manufactures for drastically cutting them out o…

Environment

The futures of tourism, wildlife and ranching in Mono County are now at the mercy of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power - according to …

Social Issues

Coming off a string of controversial opinions, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments in a case tied to oversight of federal elections…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021