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What is PACE Financing?

Sullivan Solar Power

Federal and state governments have long supported solar power, including by offering customers who go solar with valuable financial incentives for investing in clean, green solar power. These programs can pay for a portion or all of the costs of installing a rooftop solar system and are a big reason why solar power has been growing so fast, not just around San Diego and the rest of Southern California, but the rest of the nation.

It should come as no surprise that the Golden State is a nationwide leader in the solar power revolution and that California has created several incentive programs for property owners who go solar. These programs have been used by thousands of property owners to make energy-efficient upgrades to their homes, businesses and other properties.

California Financing for Energy-Efficient Home Upgrades

In 2008, California adopted a set of laws that gave state property owners a new financing option for energy efficient building upgrades. The Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program allows up to 10% of a property’s value to be financed for energy efficiency, renewable energy or water conservation upgrades.

HERO and Ygrene are two different types of financing programs which are offered under PACE.

PACE financing creates an assessment lien on the property and is repaid as semi-annual installments on the property tax bill. Payments for the PACE lien are made at the same time and in the same manner as the regular property taxes for the property.

As with any financing arrangement, it’s important to consult with a tax professional to get advice on whether these financing programs or any type of property assessment is a good fit for you.

What Types of Improvements Can I Make to My Property With PACE Financing?

The types of property improvement projects that can be financed may vary depending on the individual financing provider and administrator you work with. For questions regarding specific product eligibility, you should contact the individual PACE financing provider in your area. In many cases, your project must be performed by an approved contractor participating in the PACE program to be eligible.

In general, most products that can be permanently affixed to a property and reduce on-site electric, gas or water consumption will be considered eligible. For example, the financing is commonly used to add or improve rooftop solar power systems, attic insulation, heating, ventilation and air conditioning replacements and low-flow toilets.

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