Read CDFA’s letter in opposition to S.838, the “PACE” Act of 2017, below:
To: Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs From: Toby Rittner, President & CEO Council of Development Finance Agencies
100 E. Broad Street, Suite 1200
Columbus, OH 43215 [email protected]
Re: Opposition to S. 838, the “PACE” Act of 2017
Senators Cotton (R-AR), Rubio (R-FL), and Boozman (R-AR) have introduced a bill in the U.S. Senate that would kill one of America’s most successful forms of financing for clean energy and energy efficiency: Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE). The bill, known as the PACE Act of 2017, would define PACE as a mortgage loan by making it subject to the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) rules that regulate mortgage lenders. The imposition of TILA regulations on PACE would:
Require local governments to alter the way they collect property taxes and assessments,
Require local governments and contractors to become licensed as mortgage brokers,
Impose what could be lengthy delays in funding projects.
Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing empowers state and local governments to meet important public policy objectives and boost local employment at no cost to public budgets. PACE supporters are deeply concerned by the incendiary attacks leveled against this innovative and successful policy today from some on Capitol Hill.
Observers should look beyond the inflammatory rhetoric and focus on common sense and basic facts. The PACE industry has long been committed to putting the homeowner’s best interests first and is supportive of additional strong consumer protections at the federal level to safeguard homeowners making energy-efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, or hurricane protection improvements to their homes. But these protections must not dismantle the innovative model at the heart of PACE financing.
EVP/CIO Bert Hunter named to PACENation board; VP Mackey Dykes to serve on Leadership Council
Rocky Hill, CT (March 27, 2017) – The Connecticut Green Bank is proud to announce that Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer Bert Hunter has been named to the PACENation Board of Directors. Additionally, Vice President Commercial and Industrial Programs Mackey Dykes has been appointed to serve on the PACENation Leadership Council, an advisory committee for the organization.
PACENation is a movement of people and organizations united in their support for Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. PACENation works towards a future in which PACE financing is used to fund energy efficiency, renewable energy, and resiliency upgrades to homes and commercial buildings in every municipality across the United States. Currently, PACE programs are operating in 19 states, including Connecticut, which has a thriving Commercial PACE (C-PACE) program.
Funding Provides Major Cost, Energy Savings for R.I. Business
PROVIDENCE, RI – Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank (RIIB) today announced that the first two Rhode Island Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (RI C-PACE) projects have received financing. RI C-PACE provides financing for clean energy projects that lead to significant cost and energy savings for commercial and industrial property owners.
Collectively, the projects will reduce annual CO2 emissions by 188.6 tons, which is equivalent to the CO2 emissions from over 452,000 miles driven by the average passenger vehicle.These first projects call for the installation of roof-mounted solar panels on two office buildings in Middletown. The properties are owned by the financial services firm, Embrace Home Loans. Combined, the projects will save the firm an estimated $226,000 in energy costs across the 20-year financing term. The total investment in the energy savings projects is $1.2 million.
In a recent report, “Clearing the Air – Addressing Three Misconceptions of PACE,” Morningstar ABS Research clarified a few important points about PACE financing.
Read an excerpt, then click through to see the whole report:
As financing of energy-efficient projects through property assessments becomes more widespread, concerns and misconceptions regarding its use and oversight have become more common. Morningstar Credit Ratings, LLC explores three misconceptions we have heard from market participants regarding the residential property assessed clean energy sector. First, we note that a PACE assessment is an asset-based obligation, rather than a mortgage loan, so lien-to-value ratio, more than an individual’s credit score, is a more appropriate risk indicator.
Updated Consumer Protection Policies, released at PACENation Summit, form basis for enforceable state and local legislation
DENVER, Feb. 16 – PACENation, the national, non-profit advocacy organization for Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, today announced an important update to its 2016 residential PACE Consumer Protection Policies. The enhanced standards include customer supports and safeguards that go well beyond those found in any other form of home-improvement financing and are designed to facilitate the successful expansion of PACE to new states and local communities.
Homeowners use PACE to make qualified energy and efficiency upgrades to their properties and pay for them over time with a new line item on their property taxes. To date, PACE has empowered more than 130,000 homeowners to invest over $3.4 billion in projects that make their homes more comfortable and less expensive to heat, light and cool. It is estimated that PACE projects will help lower residential utility bills by billions of dollars. Local government sponsors of PACE point to the energy and environmental goals PACE helps achieve, the more than 20-thousand jobs that PACE has created or supports in their communities, and that it has little or no impact on their public budgets.
Many of you no doubt saw the January 10th Journal article, “America’s Fastest-Growing Loan Category has Eerie Echoes of Subprime Crisis.” We hope you share our disappointment that the article was so unfair to PACE. It might have emphasized that to date, over 130,000 homeowners report high satisfaction using it to finance often-necessary energy-related investments in their homes. Instead of leaving the reader with the impression that PACE is a new and dangerous form of finance, it might have noted that for decades, local governments have relied on the same property tax line-item mechanism to fund improvements that benefit property owners and meet a public purpose. It could have emphasized that PACE providers are committed to serving that public purpose, and as such, take seriously their responsibility to protect consumers.
As key California disclosure law takes effect and U.S. Department of Energy best practices become industry norm, leading residential PACE provider launches new contractor management system
SAN DIEGO, Jan. 10 – Residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing – a California home-improvement innovation that has become one of the fastest-growing forms of financing in America – is starting 2017 with robust consumer protections as the industry norm, including some which go well beyond any other form of consumer financing and actually will raise the bar for how homeowners experience home improvement.
When an energy services contractor sits down with a family at their dinner table to discuss the details of an efficient HVAC upgrade, solar installation, cool roof, or other energy upgrades, one question always comes up: “How will I pay for it?”
PACE financing is, increasingly, the answer to that question. PACE offers a more affordable and accessible way to finance energy efficiency, water efficiency, and renewable energy improvements to homes and commercial buildings. PACE programs have already funded over $3 billion in energy upgrades across the nation, and this increased investment has created stable work for local contractors —
Rancho Mirage, CA: K2 Clean Energy Capital, LLC has developed and executed the PACE financing for the construction of a $2.4M project including a solar PV carport system and installation of energy efficiency upgrades at The River at Rancho Mirage. The River, which was acquired by the CheerLand Investment Group in June 2014, is the premier shopping, dining, and entertainment destination in the Coachella Valley. The River features Century Theatres; leading restaurants including Fleming’s Steakhouse, The Yard House, PF Chang’s, and the Cheesecake Factory; and many high-end retail establishments.