Smithers town council, from left: John Buikema, Mika Meyer, Greg Brown, Mayor Gladys Atrill, Frank Wray, Casda Thomas and Lorne Benson. (file photo)

Smithers supports Terrace citizen’s greener homes campaign

Martin Holzbauer wants B.C. to implement Property Assessed Clean Energy, turns to municipalities

Smithers Town Council is throwing its support behind a program that will help property owners make their homes greener.

For years, Terrace resident Martin Holzbauer has been calling for the implementation of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), a program that would allow homeowners to borrow money from their municipality to retrofit their homes with energy-efficient materials and green energy generation, then repay the money through their property tax bill each year.

Alberta allows PACE financing, which is also widely used in the United States.

In May, Holzbauer made his case to council and at the June 14 regular council meeting, councillors discussed his request for support.

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Holzbauer told councillors the program is simple and can benefit everyone. He added the provincial government hasn’t done anything and that is frustrating for him because he doesn’t see a downside to the program.

Council moved to provide support to Taylor Bachrach, Member of Parliament for Skeena/Bulkley Valley and Nathan Cullen, Member of Legislative Assembly for Stikine, to advance the PACE program throughout British Columbia.

“It is important, what is attractive about this type of loan is that it stays with the property, so it isn’t one owner taking on the whole thing, it is for the good of the property,” Councillor Casda Thomas.

Councillor Benson thought it was creative but needs to be done by a higher level of government, such as the provincial government.

Councillor Brown said this program has been the subject of a long conversation in B.C. and this is council’s nudge to keep it going.

-with files from Jake Wray

Smithers council