POINT OF VIEW New home improvement financing plan benefits consumers


When it comes to protecting our homes from hurricane damage, no one is more aware of the potential benefits than homeowners in coastal counties like Palm Beach. In 2016, we got relatively lucky when Hurricane Matthew inflicted only minimal damage on our area. We all know, however, that we remain vulnerable to the types of damage that struck areas like Flagler and Volusia. One of the best ways Palm Beach County residents can prepare for future hurricanes is to make improvements like hurricane-resistant roofing and adding storm shutters to windows.

On April 4, the Palm Beach County Commission gave county homeowners an innovative financing option for improving their homes’ hurricane resiliency and energy efficiency, or for adding renewable energy systems like solar panels to their properties. The County Commission voted to adopt Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) for county residents. This “yes” vote will not only improve public safety and energy-saving actions, it will also spur job growth and local economic activity as a wave of PACE-financed energy and hurricane-readiness improvements spread across the county.

Homeowners often make these types of improvements when they are in a crisis moment – either their roof has failed due to age, or has been damaged from a major weather event. It’s the same mentality that prevents many of us from upgrading to an energy-efficient water heater until our old water heater suddenly stops working, leaving us with a cold shower, even though we know very well that we would save energy – and money – in the long run if we upgraded to the state-of-the-art model today.

PACE is an innovative form of financing that encourages property owners to invest in hurricane resiliency and efficiency now, instead of later. PACE allows homeowners to install products that can save money on insurance or utility bills and to pay for the work with a fixed, competitive interest rate over time through their property taxes.

PACE-financed home improvement projects have a multiplier effect on many fronts: They increase demand for contractor services, which in turn creates quality construction-sector jobs and drives up economic activity in general. Estimates for Palm Beach County show that, as PACE financing expands in the residential sector, we can expect to see a saving of 727 million kilowatt hours, the creation of up to 1,100 jobs and a boost to our local economy by as much as $189 million in the first five years the program is active.

Palm Beach County joins its neighbors Broward and Miami-Dade Counties in making PACE financing available to homeowners. Within the county, Boynton Beach, Lake Clark Shores and Golf have already embraced this innovative new policy on their own. Now homeowners throughout Palm Beach County will have access to PACE.

As a community facing catastrophic weather and climate impacts, Palm Beach County has given its residents access to a valuable tool to help them be prepared and save energy at home. And PACE financing is cost-neutral to public budgets.

TIM GRABOSKI, DERFIELD BEACH

Editor’s note: Tim Graboski is the owner and operator of Graboski Roofing.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Opinion

Opinion: Fraternity video exposes crumbling decency in society

PAWLEYS ISLAND, S.C. — Courage isn’t required to condemn the Syracuse University chapter of the Theta Tau fraternity for simulating a sexual assault on a disabled student. Video of this ape-ish display, now in wide circulation, should horrify anyone with an ounce of decency. That is, assuming people still recall what decency is. After the...
Commentary: Raising legal age limits won’t solve gun violence
Commentary: Raising legal age limits won’t solve gun violence

A national debate over gun violence has erupted in the wake of the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Unlike past mass shootings, grieving and evidence-gathering have been superseded by fervent demands for gun control, with a particular emphasis placed on increasing age limits required to buy certain weapons. Under...
Commentary: Let pre-18 teens register to vote
Commentary: Let pre-18 teens register to vote

Along with turning up the heat in the national debate over gun laws, the horrific attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida on Feb. 14 has introduced the nation to a new generation of articulate, passionate teenagers. Days after watching classmates get gunned down in their school, the Parkland massacre’s young survivors confronted...
POINT OF VIEW: A chance to get pension reform right

There is a crisis looming that has the potential to dramatically affect both the retirement benefits of millions of retirees as well as multiple states and communities. I am referencing the Multi-Employer Pension Plan crisis. What is a MEPP? They are pension plans collectively bargained (i.e., union pension plans) maintained by more than one employer...
Palm Beach Post editorial cartoon Wednesday, April 25
Palm Beach Post editorial cartoon Wednesday, April 25

CARTOON VIEW SIGNE WILKINSON
More Stories