A New Way to Fund Green Home Renovations

How's this for a clever energy-saving program: homeowners borrow money for green upgrades such as new windows, water heaters, insulation or roof-top solar panels. The money, loaned by states and municipalities that issue bonds to cover the program, is paid back by homeowners over 15 to 20 years, via a property tax surcharge. It's a win for all: The energy savings cover the homeowner's extra annual tax payment; jobs are created; and the planet gets a break.

What's not to like? Apparently, plenty.

The Wall Street Journal reported recently that the program, called Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), is facing resistance from Fannie, Freddie and mortgage providers across the country, who are doing their best to undermine it.

Nonetheless, PACE bonds seem to be gaining traction.