St. Petersburg Council Member Karl Nurse will host a press conference Tuesday, July 13, at 10 a.m. in Room 100 of City Hall, 175 Fifth St. N., to encourage the federal government to release millions of dollars earmarked for weatherizing homes and buildings.
Joined by Council Members Dudley, Kornell and Newton, Nurse will ask the federal government to resolve a dispute between the U.S. Department of Energy and the Federal Housing Finance Agency that has blocked millions of dollars of “PACE” funds from being distributed to local communities, including St. Petersburg. PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) funds enable local governments to finance renewable energy and energy efficient projects on private properties, including residential and commercial buildings. As an example, Boulder, Colorado, used PACE funds to complete 600 buildings in the first year, with 400 additional properties now waiting until the federal dispute is settled.
“This fight between two federal agencies has thrown a monkey wrench into a great opportunity for cities to create green jobs, reduce utility bills and energy consumption, reduce property insurance bills, protect our properties from hurricane damage, and reduce our dependency on fossil fuels,” said Council Member Nurse. At the press conference, representatives from Senator Bill Nelson’s and Congresswoman Kathy Castor’s office will provide updates on the state efforts to eliminate this roadblock to funding. The U.S. Senate is scheduled to consider energy legislation later this month, and it is hoped PACE financing can be added to the legislation if the issue is not resolved by that time.