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December 23, 2009 > County resolves to join statewide clean energy program

County resolves to join statewide clean energy program

By Dustin Findley

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution to apply to join CaliforniaFIRST, a clean energy program sponsored by the California Statewide Communities Development Authority ("California Communities").

California Communities is a joint powers authority whose members include numerous cities and counties in the state of California, including the County of Santa Clara.

The County resolution states that California Communities has established the CaliforniaFIRST program to allow the financing of certain renewable energy, energy efficiency and water efficiency improvements through the levy of contractual assessments and the issuance of improvement bonds. Assessments may be levied under the Streets & Highways Code only with the free and willing consent of the property owner.

The resolution authorizing Santa Clara County to join the CaliforniaFIRST Program declares that bond issues by California Communities for the CaliforniaFIRST Program will provide significant public benefits.

The following information can be found at

As a statewide joint powers authority, California Communities was authorized to provide this program pursuant to AB 811, the state of California's Clean Energy Municipal Financing Law that was placed on the statute books last year.

The program is intended to have no direct cost or risk to participating cities and counties, according to

The program team will provide program education, application processing, financing and customer service for property owners who choose to participate.

The anticipated process is: completion of legal and administrative requirements, education, cities and counties formally opt into the program and California Communities begins AB 811 district-formation procedures.

The ultimate goal is for property owners to voluntarily sign-up for the program, install approved clean-energy projects and receive financing.

All cities in Santa Clara County, including Milpitas, submitted letters of commitment to participate in the program, pending final approval of the City Council.

According to the City of Milpitas; letter of commitment, the city strives to increase green jobs, increase energy efficiency and deployment of renewable energy technologies, promote economic activity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through participation in this municipal financing program.

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