One of the biggest barriers to home energy retrofits or installing solar is financial: the upfront cost are high and the savings take time to add up. The American PACE program solved that riddle by integrating the repayment of the energy retrofit into the property taxes on a home. That lets you pay them off slowly, and it means the financing stays with the house if you decide to move. It's a great system.
But the program has been brought to a standstill by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The FHFA is refusing to allow PACE participants to refinance their mortgages until they have completely paid off the cost of their energy improvements. Environment and Energy TV has an excellent interview with ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability head Martin Chavez. It's well worth a look to see how the system works, what's gone wrong, and how it might be fixed. Click here to view.