A proposed bill in the Montgomery County, Md., Council would provide an innovative way to encourage commercial property owners to perform green-energy retrofits. The property owner would need to prove energy savings would occur to be eligible for a loan, which would be repaid through the property-tax bill. The fund would be seeded with general fund dollars and possibly private sources.
An owner could borrow money to buy or install energy efficient equipment. The loan would constitute a first lien on the property and would remain attached to the mortgage if the building is sold. Under the bill, eligible property owners must have completed an energy audit or renewable energy system feasibility analysis that assesses the expected energy cost savings over the useful life of the new equipment.