California Dream 2.0

PACE Financing for California’s Clean Energy Future, Part 1: Expanding the Residential Market

rp_Scott_Hofmeister-287x377.jpgWhen it comes to protecting the environment and fighting climate change, California has always been a first mover.

Now the state is boldly acting to unleash a new market that saves energy, cuts pollution, and drastically increases clean energy investment for California’s residents.

Last week, California approved a $10 million reserve that will revive the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program for residential customers.

PACE allows customers to take advantage of energy saving upgrades to their home with no money down. Customers simply use a portion of their savings to pay off the investment over time through their property tax bill. Financing can be entirely provided by private lenders at no cost to taxpayers.

Since its first use at a San Francisco office building in 2012, PACE has been a resounding success in the commercial sector. In fact, the commercial markets have quickly taken to PACE and continue to set new deal-size records.

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Posted in Clean Energy, General, On-Bill Repayment / Read 1 Response

Record-Setting ‘PACE’ for Commercial Buildings in California

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Hilton Hotel executives were all smiles last week, and for good reason: they had just cut the ribbon on the completion of a $7 million energy efficiency upgrade to the Universal City Hilton – the largest project of its kind in the U.S.

LA’s record-setting project is the third in a string of major commercial building retrofits in California in just the past two years, all thanks to Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), a program that allows customers to finance clean energy upgrades and pay them back, over time, on their property tax bills.

What’s made PACE so successful is that it allows customers to avoid the sizeable up-front costs of major building upgrades, while saving energy and money.

Case in point: the Universal Hilton projects close to $1 million of savings per year from these energy efficiency upgrades.

The promise of large-scale, commercial PACE was first demonstrated in 2012, when the ProLogis Pier 1 Building in San Francisco received the first-of-its kind financing for $1.4 million of energy efficiency upgrades. This project kicked off what has become one of the most successful clean energy financing programs in the nation.

In July 2013, an EDF Climate Corps Fellow at Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s office helped set a new commercial PACE record when the Metro Center Corporate Park closed a $3.16 million deal through the Clean Energy Sacramento program.

But these records don’t last long; each of these new projects received more than double the financing of the previous project, a positive sign for the future of commercial PACE programs in California.

In fact, there are currently 25 active commercial PACE Programs in 10 U.S. states, proof that the trend is growing beyond the Golden State’s borders.

Last year, Connecticut launched their own PACE program, finalizing nearly $20 million of transactions for commercial properties. Similarly, Toledo, Ohio executed $18 million of commercial PACE transactions in 2013.

While the commercial PACE market continues to evolve, California continues to raise the bar, providing energy efficiency financing opportunities – and future ribbon cutting ceremonies – that benefit building owners and protect the environment.


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