News & Blog

California Legislature Approves State Regulation and Enhanced Consumer Protections for Residential PACE

The California Legislature has passed two bills that will work in tandem to provide strong consumer protections and a regulatory framework for the state’s residential PACE programs. AB 1284, sponsored by Assembly Member Matt Dababneh, and SB 242, sponsored by Senator Nancy Skinner both passed with overwhelming bi-partisan support.

In less than 10 years, PACE has grown from a niche market option to the most successful energy financing program in California history. “Nearly $4 billion in upgrades shows that California homeowners embrace PACE as the best way to pay for improvements that make homes more comfortable, energy efficient and resilient against natural disasters,” said David Gabrielson, Executive Director of PACENation. “State regulation is an important next-step in the evolving PACE marketplace, and we are thrilled that the legislation provides a pathway to ensure the safety and protection of PACE consumers.”

Under AB 1284, the California Department of Business Oversight (DBO) will become the regulatory body for residential PACE administrators operating within the state. The legislation establishes licensing requirements for contractors, new underwriting guidelines that include income verification and ability-to-pay standards, and other consumer protection enhancements. “The leadership of Senator Skinner and Assemblyman Dababneh has evolved PACE into a long-term viable solution for homeowners, while providing a model for states across the nation to base PACE on income and ability-to-pay, and with a comprehensive suite of consumer protections and enforcement tools,” said JP McNeill, CEO of Renovate America.

SB 242 focuses squarely on standardizing best practice guidelines and disclosures for residential PACE administrators. The legislation requires that PACE administrators record a live phone call with customers to confirm agreement of terms, provides homeowners a 3-day right to cancel, and mandates reporting to public agencies. “Renew Financial is honored to stand with Assemblyman Dababneh and Senator Skinner, as well as the consumer advocates, business leaders and environmental organizations who worked so hard to strengthen PACE financing for California homeowners,” said Cisco DeVries, CEO of Renew Financial.

SB 242 was strongly supported by League of Conservation Voters California and Efficiency Demand Management Council – and both bills were strongly supported by Sierra Club California, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense Fund, Advanced Energy Economy, California Solar Energy Industries Association, Vote Solar, Climate Action Campaign, Brightline Defense, Build It Green, California Energy Storage Association, Center for Sustainable Energy, and Cleantech San Diego. In addition, a host of local government leaders and the California League of Cities and California State Association of Counties were on board.

PACENation is proud to have been a part of the industry-wide stakeholder coalition that worked for a year on the success of these bills. Negotiations between low-income consumer advocates, environmental groups, PACE program administrators, and the banking industry have resulted in California legislation that sets a regulatory precedent for R-PACE programs throughout the country. “Someday, I would like to see the money and energy saving benefits of PACE become available to every homeowner in the Country, and these bills put in place a framework to scale R-PACE safely and effectively,” said David Gabrielson, Executive Director of PACENation.

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MikeCalifornia Legislature Approves State Regulation and Enhanced Consumer Protections for Residential PACE

New York City Announces Legislation to Launch Commercial PACE Program

New York, NY, September 14 – Today, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced City Council legislation to authorize a PACE financing program for building retrofits.

A NYC PACE retrofit program can create a tremendous new market for energy efficiency and renewable energy since the City’s buildings are, on average, more than 50 years old and valued at over $1 trillion. With the Mayor’s announcement, the City will join a long list of major cities with successful PACE programs including Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C.

Jeff Tannenbaum, Chairman of the Board at PACENation, said “PACE is seeing continued strong bipartisan support because it requires no taxes or subsidies, is led at the local and state levels, has created tens of thousands of jobs, and helps property owners save money and make buildings healthier and safer.” Over the last several years, 14 Republican and 20 Democratic governors signed PACE bills into law.

To date, more than 160,000 home and building owners have used PACE to improve their properties with investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and more recently hurricane resistance measures, including in Florida where 8,000 homeowners have used PACE to make their properties more resilient while saving an estimated $7 million on their insurance premiums.   PACE financing is available in Houston and throughout the state of Florida to help finance the rebuilds from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

David Gabrielson, Executive Director at PACENation, said “It’s great to see that NYC will be launching a PACE program that will be a catalyst for tremendous job creation and economic activity.   I am also delighted that the Texas and Florida PACE programs can help lead the rebuild of the devastated areas and make our nation’s homes and buildings more resilient for future storm activity”.

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MikeNew York City Announces Legislation to Launch Commercial PACE Program

WRCOG Issues Statement on Wall Street Journal PACE Article

Read WRCOG‘s response to the Wall St. Journal below:

Riverside, CA – August 23, 2017 – The Western Riverside Council of Governments (WRCOG) is the largest bond issuer for Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, which provides financing to eligible property owners for energy efficiency, water conservation, and renewable energy upgrades. WRCOG serves as the government oversight agency for a series of PACE providers, including the nation’s largest, the HERO Program, as well as Samas Commercial, CaliforniaFIRST, and soon to launch PACE Funding and Spruce Finance. WRCOG’s PACE programs have helped thousands of property owners improve their homes, and have brought numerous economic and environmental benefits to Western Riverside County and the 371 jurisdictions that operate statewide under the California HERO Program.

On August 15 the Wall Street Journal published a story on PACE (“More Borrowers are Defaulting on their ‘Green’ PACE Loans”). WRCOG’s Executive Director, Rick Bishop, issued a statement in response to the article.

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MikeWRCOG Issues Statement on Wall Street Journal PACE Article

Detroit’s Whitney Mansion is Wayne County’s First PACE Project

Lean & Green Michigan and PETROS PACE Finance announced the closing of a $863,130 energy efficiency retrofit of the historical Whitney Building in Detroit. Read an excerpt below from Detroit’s Business Journal:

Source: DBusiness

The Whitney, a historical restaurant in Detroit for more than three decades, today announced participation in the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program. With the goal of increasing energy efficiency and improving the guest experience, The Whitney will invest more than $850,000 in new HVAC systems, lighting, windows, kitchen equipment, and building controls to replace systems that date back to 1986.

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MikeDetroit’s Whitney Mansion is Wayne County’s First PACE Project

PACENation responds to the August 15, 2017 Wall Street Journal story, “More Borrowers Are Defaulting on Their ‘Green’ PACE Loans”

Residential PACE has been the best financing solution for the roughly 160,000 homeowners who have used it for energy, water, and safety related projects that they wanted or needed to make; projects that made their homes more comfortable, healthier, safer, less expensive to heat and cool, and more valuable. State and local government partners also appreciate the tens of thousands of local jobs that R-PACE has helped create and sustain. PACE financing for commercial, industrial, agricultural and non-profit owned properties is now available widely throughout the United States, a success story the Journal has ignored.

There is a great story to tell. But instead, the Wall Street Journal, yesterday, ran another in a series of misleading stories about PACE. Yesterday’s, again, includes many ill drawn conclusions and seems to reflect the author’s clear bias for sensationalism.

There is simply no evidence to suggest that PACE is a looming crisis for the banking industry or homeowners.  None.  Zero. There is no data to suggest that PACE homes are delinquent or likely to default at rates higher than those for the broader housing market in PACE served communities. With more than 60,000 new homes using PACE over the previous year, it is not surprising that the number of defaults has increased. But there is absolutely no indication that the PACE assessment has been the direct cause of the delinquencies or defaults in any but the tiny number of anecdotal cases that the Journal has reported on.

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MikePACENation responds to the August 15, 2017 Wall Street Journal story, “More Borrowers Are Defaulting on Their ‘Green’ PACE Loans”

CleanFund launches in Colorado, bringing a new source of direct capital for commercial clean energy projects across the state

Source: CleanFund.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — CleanFund Commercial PACE Capital, Inc. (www.CleanFund.com), the leading direct provider of commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (“C-PACE”) financing, announced today that they have completed their first transaction in Colorado, opening up a new source of capital to finance energy efficiency, solar energy and many other building improvements throughout the state.

CleanFund provides capital to finance up to 100% of project’s cost using the C-PACE framework, which has been adopted in 33 states and the District of Columbia. This allows property owners to repay investments for qualified building upgrades and new construction as a line item on their regular property tax bills.

In Colorado, much of the demand for sustainable buildings comes from building owners and their tenants. Developers know that “green buildings” drive higher rents and economic growth; however, the traditional lending market has been unable to keep pace with these demands. CleanFund’s PACEDirect™ financing product now available in Colorado enables local owners and developers to have access to fixed rate, long-term, non-recourse capital that can transfer to the new owners when the building is sold.

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MikeCleanFund launches in Colorado, bringing a new source of direct capital for commercial clean energy projects across the state

PACE Funding Group, LLC. Announces a New Partnership with the Western Riverside Council of Governments (WRCOG) Expanding its Footprint into Fourteen Cities in Western Riverside County

Source: PACE Funding.

LOS GATOS, Calif.Aug. 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — On Monday, August 7, 2017, the Executive Committee of the Western Riverside Council of Governments (WRCOG) approved a partnership with PACE Funding Group, LLC., a leading provider of residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing in the State of California.  This partnership will offer more financing options and greater choice to the residents of western Riverside County as they consider their energy efficient home improvement needs.

With WRCOG as a partner, PACE Funding Group, LLC. will be able to offer financing to homeowners in 14 Riverside County Cities: BanningCalimesaCanyon LakeCorona, Eastvale, Hemet, Jurupa Valley, Lake ElsinoreMenifeeMurrietaNorcoPerrisTemecula and Wildomar, comprising more than 300,000 homes.

“PACE Funding’s entry into western Riverside County means more competition for our residents’ business, which results in better service and increased options for homeowners,” said Deborah Franklin, Chair of the WRCOG Executive Committee.  “We look forward to working with PACE Funding to help our homeowners finance their important, energy efficient home improvements and drive additional local economic activity.”

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MikePACE Funding Group, LLC. Announces a New Partnership with the Western Riverside Council of Governments (WRCOG) Expanding its Footprint into Fourteen Cities in Western Riverside County

Join PACENation at the 1st Annual Investor’s Conference on Green Bonds in London

1st Annual Investors’ Conference on Green Bonds
30 October 2017
London, UK

PACENation is proud to be an Association Supporter of IMN’s inaugural Investors’ Conference on Green Bonds, taking place 30 October in London. Unlike any other green bond conference, this event will herald the first in-depth conversation about the intersection of securitisation and environmentally sustainable finance.

PACENation Members Receive 15% Discount to Attend!
Register here with code PACE15

This inaugural event will feature high level discussions about investment opportunities in bonds carrying the green label and the challenges issuers may face in obtaining it. Attendees will develop a more crystallized idea of what a green bond is, its yield potential, and the benefits of issuing a green bond. We will also introduce the U.S. concept of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing and its potential application in Europe. For the first time, this event will ultimately bridge together the sustainable finance community with IMN’s long standing ABS investor base.

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MikeJoin PACENation at the 1st Annual Investor’s Conference on Green Bonds in London

Utah Relaunches Statewide Commercial PACE Program, Chooses Sustainable Real Estate Solutions as Program Administrator

Brian McCarter, chief executive officer of Sustainable Real Estate Solutions, announced today that the company will serve as program administrator for Utah’s updated commercial property assessed clean energy (C-PACE) program. The Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development (OED), which manages the program, selected SRS after conducting a competitive search process for a third-party firm to provide program administration services.

Utah launched its statewide C-PACE program in 2015 after passing legislation enabling commercial PACE in March 2013. Senate Bill 221 authorized local governments to adopt C-PACE financing programs, which offered commercial and industrial property owners a unique mechanism to finance energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water efficiency improvements to their buildings.

Senate Bill 273, enacted in March 2017, amends the earlier legislation by expanding the scope of eligible projects, establishing a statewide C-PACE District, and more clearly defining the process of developing and closing projects.

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MikeUtah Relaunches Statewide Commercial PACE Program, Chooses Sustainable Real Estate Solutions as Program Administrator

HERO Launches in Florida

Source: Renovate America

Homeowners can use innovative HERO financing to reduce energy bills and stay safe through upgrading roofing, windows and doors, HVAC, solar, and more

ORLANDO, July 26, 2017 – Homeowners in communities across the state of Florida now have access to an innovative form of financing called HERO, which allows them to make residential energy, efficiency, and wind-resistance improvements and pay for the upgrades over time through their property tax bill. Eligible improvements include solar panels; energy-efficient HVAC systems, roofing, and windows; and roof-to-wall connections, storm shutters and other products that can protect against wind damage and meet Florida Building Code requirements.

HERO, which stands for Home Energy Renovation Opportunity, is the nation’s largest form of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing and its launch is expected to bring multiple benefits to Florida communities and to individual homeowners.

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MikeHERO Launches in Florida