In July 2008, California passed Assembly Bill 811. This
legislation allows municipal authorities to provide
low interest loans to home and business owners for
energy efficiency improvements. These loans will
fund air conditioning replacement, better doors and
windows, and even rooftop solar panels. The law
further allows local governments to be paid back for
their loans through the property tax collection system.
The loan would be a lien on the property, eliminating
lengthy qualification processes, and be transferable if
the property ownership is transferred.
One of the biggest misconceptions about AB 811 is that it is funded by taxpayer dollars, making it another costly
government program. THIS IS FALSE! Loans through AB 811 are usually funded through investment bonds,
improvement bonds, development bonds, or bank loans. The interest rates are generally around 7%, and the local
governments offering the loans usually provide assistance in finding the best prices for the energy efficiency
improvements being applied for. Local governments can charge a small administration fee, which is included in
the 7%. No taxpayer or ratepayer funds are required, and the home or business owners see an immediate increase
in their property value - without a reassessment! In fact, in most cases, the per month savings in energy costs
outweigh the monthly loan repayments. In other words, you can actually save money by participating in AB 811
On May 11, 2009, the Homestead Value Community Council sent a letter of support to the County of San
Bernardino for AB 811 loan programs available to rural communities like ours, that do not have a local
government to fund these loans. We are very optimistic SB County will soon unveil such a plan. We will post
updates on this very important issue!