Durham is 1st Community in New Hampshire to Adopt "PACE" Enabling Legislation, NH RSA 53-F

At the Council meeting on October 4, 2010, Durham Energy Committee Chair Kevin Gardner presented an overview of the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program to the Durham Town Council. The enabling legislation, New Hampshire RSA 53-F, details the creation of an "energy efficiency and clean energy" district and the authority of the Town over that district. Among the Town’s new financial authorities—strictly controlled by RSA 53-F—would be the ability to facilitate such programs as PACE. Although not mentioned by name in the legislation, PACE is a strong example of the kind of program that the Energy Committee believes the Town could move forward under the provisions of RSA 53-F.

The enabling legislation states:  "The purposes of this chapter are to authorize municipalities to establish such a procedure and to set forth requirements to ensure that its use will achieve the intended purposes of improving the social and economic well-being of New Hampshire communities and reducing greenhouse gas emissions."

The provisions of RSA 53-F are consistent with the goals of the Town of Durham as articulated by this year’s Town Council goals to encourage sustainability by taking advantage of the public benefits of reducing the cost of energy use and the risks associated with future escalation in energy prices, encouraging investment in the development and implementation of energy conservation and efficiency, and clean energy improvements.

On November 1st, the Durham Town Council, unanimously approved Resolution #2010-18 adopting the provisions of RSA 53-F and designating the Town of Durham in its entirety as an "energy efficiency and clean energy district."

This action makes Durham the 1st community in NH to adopt the new PACE enabling legislation.

Over the last several months, the Energy Committee has solicited expressions of interest from residents or businesses which may want to take advantage of the PACE program. The Energy Committee will be evaluating these applications as well as developing appropriate evaluation criteria to screen them in the coming weeks.

What is PACE? 

A PACE bond is a bond where the proceeds are lent to commercial and residential property owners to finance energy retrofits (efficiency measures and small renewable energy systems) and who then repay their loans over a period of time (10 - 20 years)  via an annual assessment on their property tax bill. PACE bonds can be issued by municipal financing districts or finance companies and the proceeds can be typically used to retrofit both commercial and residential properties.


Todd I. Selig, Administrator
Town of Durham
15 Newmarket Road
Durham, New Hampshire 03824
Tel (603) 868-5571
Fax (603) 868-5572