The ClimateSmart Loan Program approved by Boulder County voters in 2008 fell prey to federal regulators in 2010 when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced they wouldn’t buy mortgages with property assessment energy loans attached to them like ClimateSmart. These loans, commonly known by the acronym PACE (property assessed clean energy loans), were considered to be too risky and despite intense lobbying by Boulder County, the federal government declined to revise its position and the ClimateSmart Loan program came to an abrupt end.
Boulder County sent its staff back to work on the issue and recently announced the creation of a new “EnergySmart” loan program in conjunction with Elevations Credit Union (formerly the CU Credit Union). The loans would not transfer with the property at the time of sale, alleviating the concerns voiced by the GSEs. County Commissioner Will Toor says EnergySmart should be available to property owners this spring.