Assembly Bill 811 in California

Assembly Bill 811 is another tool being employed by the state of California to encourage homeowners to go green and upgrade their homes so that they are more energy efficient. Assembly Bill 811 (known as AB 811) was signed into law in July 21, 2008 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The Basics of AB 811

AB 811 is part of California's efforts to reach the goals laid out by the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. It authorizes all cities and counties in the state to designate areas where property owners who want to can enter into a contractual assessment to finance the installation of energy efficiency and renewable energy generation improvements in their home. To be eligible for financing, the improvements must be permanently fixed to the property.

The terms of the financing give property owners access to low-interest loans for the installation of energy efficiency upgrades to their property. The loans can be repaid as an item on the property owner's property tax bill.

Financial Details of AB 811

Interest rates for the AB 811 loans are thus far at 7% amortized over 20 years, and they are to be paid every six months along with your County property tax payment. These loans are strictly earmarked for energy "efficiencies and renewable energies available to the public" *.

The loan does not require a credit check and its payment passes on to the new owners when the property is sold along with the title transfer at escrow. Palm Desert is the first city in the nation to have the AB 811 financing option available for financing the installation of energy efficiency improvements.

Benefits to Property Owners

Owners stand to gain from AB 811 financing by getting an immediately reduced energy bill with no out-of-pocket expenses to them. Furthermore, when they sale their property, the new owner assumes the payments. The improvements raise the value of the house, which makes it an easier sell. The minimum loan amount is $ 5000 and there's no maximum. The loans do not affect your credit rating. The loans can be used for a variety of energy efficiency improvements including, air conditioning and ventilation systems, tank-less water heating equipment, window films, pool pumps, energy-efficient windows, doors and skylights, and now also solar panel systems and natural gas fuel cells.