News & Blog

  • RMI: FHA Should Reconsider their About Face—About PACE

    Source: Rocky Mountain Institute (By Jacob Corvidae and Martha Campbell)

    Last week, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced it will stop insuring new mortgages on homes with property assessed clean energy (PACE) loans. As to what motivated its decision—according to its letter to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development—the FHA is “concerned with the lack of consumer protections associated with the origination of the PACE assessment, which are far less comprehensive than that of traditional mortgage financing products.” This announcement directly contradicts guidance issued by the FHA in 2016.

    Rocky Mountain Institute feels this decision is misguided for three key reasons.

    1. The FHA overstates the risk of PACE to taxpayers while failing to acknowledge or account for the significant default risk that the excessive energy expenditures of inefficient homes can create for a homeowner.
    2. This will inhibit homeowners from making valuable home improvements, while curbing PACE’s job-creation potential in the construction and renovation industry.
    3. It undermines existing state-level consumer-protection standards that are in place and federal standards that are in development, and may in fact guide homeowners toward more risky financing solutions, such as high-interest rate credit cards, that lack such standards.
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    MikeRMI: FHA Should Reconsider their About Face—About PACE
  • PACENation Disappointed with FHA Policy Reversal By HUD

    U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Announces The Federal Housing Administration Will Cease Insuring Mortgages On Homes With PACE Assessments

    PACENation is dismayed to learn that HUD has abruptly reversed FHA’s PACE policy, which was put into effect by the Obama Administration in 2016, and will no longer insure mortgages for homes with Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) assessments. The new guidance is set to go into effect on January 6, 2018.

    PACENation finds it disappointing that HUD has made a determination that will eliminate one of the principal benefits of PACE, which is transferability of the PACE assessment upon resale, for homes that have used FHA financing. It is well documented that PACE is a successful tool for helping homeowners make energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation improvements that save money and make their homes safer and more comfortable to live in.

    The mortgagee letter released by HUD yesterday names two reasons for the policy change: concern about losses to FHA’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, and concern with the lack of consumer protections related to PACE.

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    MikePACENation Disappointed with FHA Policy Reversal By HUD
  • Arlington First in Virginia with New Financing Tool for Sustainable Buildings

    Source: Arlington County

    Arlington County will pioneer Virginia’s first Commercial-Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program—a public-private partnership to provide affordable, long-term financing for projects to improve the energy or water efficiency of commercial buildings in the county.

    Under C-PACE, owners of existing buildings will be able to finance up to 100 percent of the cost of efficiency-enhancing projects, including renewable energy projects, for up to 25 years. Commercial property developers can use the program to finance up to 20 percent of the total construction cost of a new building, provided the building is designed to exceed energy efficiency standards. Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia currently allow PACE financing programs.

    Read the full article here.

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    MikeArlington First in Virginia with New Financing Tool for Sustainable Buildings
  • Senator Rubio’s former campaign manager stands up for PACE

    Adam Hasner, who lead Florida’s 2010 PACE legislation as the Republican Leader of the Florida House of Representatives has written a strong and thoughtful op-ed piece in the Sun Sentinel that is a direct answer to critics of PACE.

    David Gabrielson, PACENation’s Executive Director, notes, “We continue to see strong Republican support for PACE, because it’s a state and local government initiative, creates local jobs, unlocks private capital, and is voluntary — giving property owners control without impacting other taxpayers.”  Gabrielson went on to say that “PACE is uniquely positioned to help bring private capital to rebuild hurricane ravaged homes.  Bolstered consumer protections at the state level, led by industry and recent state legislation (see California’s AB 1284 and SB 242) will help ensure that homeowners receive all the benefits from PACE financing”.

    We continue to see strong Republican support for PACE — 14 Republican Governors have signed PACE bills into law — as it is state and local led, creates domestic jobs, unlocks private capital, and requires no taxes or subsidies.

    Read the article

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    MikeSenator Rubio’s former campaign manager stands up for PACE
  • Public and Private Experts in Financing Clean Energy Improvements Gather in Washington, D.C. for First Ever Mid-Atlantic PACE Alliance Conference

    Stakeholders from Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. to address ways to accelerate financing commercial energy improvements with minimal to no upfront costs

    Washington, D.C. (November 9, 2017) – Businesses looking for ways to make clean energy improvements can get all of their questions answered at the first conference of its kind happening November 13, 2017 at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

    Titled “Winning with PACE: Game Plans for Financing Energy Improvements”, the educational conference program content was developed by the Mid-Atlantic PACE Alliance (MAPA). PACE, or C-PACE, is an acronym for Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy and is an innovative tool for owners of commercial property and non-profit organizations to use to finance energy-related property improvements, such as purchasing new equipment and solar panels, with no upfront costs.  C-PACE programs are enabled by local governments in 13 Maryland jurisdictions and Washington, DC. Virginia has enabled local jurisdictions to also participate in this program by allowing C-PACE repayments through annual property tax bills. C-PACE assessments have an advantage over conventional financing because they are attached to the property, rather than the building owner, and are transferrable upon sale to a new owner.

    The November 13th conference will feature regional and national experts in C-PACE and highlight successful projects using this model. The lunch keynote address will be delivered by Charlene Heydinger, President of the Texas PACE Authority.  Other presenters will include representatives from the property owner, lender, contractor and governmental communities, and attendees will have the opportunity to share their experiences and ideas for advancing the clean energy economy in the region. The leadership of Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia are on board and here’s why.

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    MikePublic and Private Experts in Financing Clean Energy Improvements Gather in Washington, D.C. for First Ever Mid-Atlantic PACE Alliance Conference
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