Community Development Innovation Review

March 2014

Can Cities Lead the Way in Innovative Energy Retrofits for Single-Family Homes?


The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 pointed to an era of expanded energy efficiency, one that, as the well-known McKinsey’s carbon abatement curve posits, would in effect be self-financing. The “Recovery through Retrofit Report” from the Vice President’s office in late 2009 detailed a distinct financing mechanism, Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), which would “enable the costs for energy efficiency retrofits to be added to an owner’s property tax bill… which takes the same priority as traditional property tax liens and assessments.” The Harvard Business Review would round out the year by identifying PACE as one of 10 “Breakthrough Ideas for 2010.” The future looked exceedingly energy efficient. However, behind the promise lurked several issues.

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Other articles in this issue

Mixing Asset Building with Energy Efficiency: A Recipe for Financial and Environmental Sustainability

The Future of the Clean (Green) Economy

Cleaner Energy and Health: Household, Local and Global Benefits

Financing Energy Efficiency Retrofits of Affordable Multifamily Buildings

Manufactured Homes Help Both Save the Planet and Save Money for Low-Income Owners

Utilities and Community Developers Partner to Improve the Energy Efficiency of Affordable Rental Housing Nationwide

Integrating Energy Efficiency into Mortgage Financing: Promising Efforts in the New York City Multifamily Building Sector

Home Energy Efficiency and Mortgage Risks: An Extended Abstract

Charter Schools Ripe for Green Investments

Financing Energy Efficiency in Low-Income Multifamily Rental Housing: A Progress Update from the Low Income Investment Fund

Neighborhood Health: A New Framework for Investing in Sustainable Communities

Bringing Down Green Financing Costs: How a State-sponsored Bank Might be the Key

Understanding the True Benefits of both Energy Efficiency and Job Creation

Lenders’ Property Standards and Energy Efficiency: The Vital Link for Affordable Housing

Energy to Heal: Health Care, Climate Change, and Community Resilience