Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing is a simple but powerful concept. PACE empowers property owners to finance upgrades to their homes and businesses by gradually repaying those costs as a line item on their property tax bill. PACE is voluntary, costs nothing to taxpayers, and has empowered more than 200,000 American homeowners to make renewable energy, energy efficiency, storm hardening, and other critical energy and safety home upgrades.
By many measures, PACE has proven to be the most successful residential energy and resilience financing tool in history. Earlier this month, Berkeley National Lab released a new report showing that PACE financing has increased residential solar PV installations by as much as 12 percent across California. This is great news. It’s also no surprise that PACE is serving its intended purpose: making critical home improvements affordable.
I invented the PACE financing model more than a decade ago, when I was chief of staff to the mayor of a small city in California. I realized that far too many Americans live in old, outdated homes that are inefficient and in need of repair. But repairs have traditionally been out of reach for too many Americans considering that more than 60 percent of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings account. It’s simply not right for homeowners to be unable to make critical safety and energy upgrades to their homes unless they can pay all the money upfront. I’m proud to say that PACE solves that problem.
Over the past ten years, the PACE industry and my company Renew Financial have worked with state, local and federal policy makers to establish industrywide consumer protections to strengthen PACE for homeowners.
Last year in California, the biggest PACE market in the country, low-income advocates, small business groups, real estate professionals and environmental organizations came together to ensure passage of the most comprehensive PACE financing legislation in history. Governor Jerry Brown signed these bills into law in October 2017. They went into effect in 2018.
Previously published at Renewable Energy World. See the full article here.
Lead image credit: U.S. Department of Energy | Public Domain