Nearly half the energy we consume, and three quarters of the electricity we generate in the United States is used to heat, cool, light, and otherwise operate our buildings. Most of this energy is created by burning fossil fuel, so reducing its consumption in a meaningful way will depend on reducing energy use in buildings.
Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is a means of financing energy efficiency upgrades or renewable energy installations for residential, commercial and industrial property owners. PACE can pay for new heating and cooling systems, lighting improvements, solar panels, water pumps, insulation, and more for almost any property: homes, commercial, industrial, non-profit, and agricultural.
PACE financing solves the upfront cost barrier by providing 100% financing for project costs. Long-term repayment of up to 20 years makes longer payback projects immediately cash flow positive and buildings more valuable. For contractors, PACE makes it easier to close a larger sale. PACE financing may stay with a building upon sale and is easy to share with tenants. Almost any building is eligible for PACE financing, including homes, offices, hotels, restaurants, shopping centers and other retail properties, non-profits, warehouses, garages, etc.
PACE Creates Jobs
State and local governments sponsor PACE financing to create jobs, promote economic development, and protect the environment.
PACE funded projects create more jobs and economic activity. According to a study by ECONorthwest, every $1 million in project spending results in 15 new jobs and $2.5M in economic output. The popularity of such residential programs has grown dramatically in recent years and are now reaching close to $4 billion in transactions across 140,000 American homes, supporting 35,000 jobs.
PACE Helps the Environment
PACE helps communities achieve important energy and water conservation goals. Efficiency projects upgrade old equipment which reduces energy use, while renewables replace fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Energy efficiency and energy generation improvements and, in some states, water conservation and hurricane and earthquake resistance, all qualify for PACE financing.
Almost any building is eligible for PACE financing, including homes, offices, hotels, restaurants, shopping centers and other retail properties, non-profits, warehouses, garages, etc.
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.
PACE Faces New Barriers
A number of barriers have thus far limited wide-scale adoption of energy efficiency and renewable energy measures. The industry will now have to defend itself against federal legislation, which is using consumer protections as its calling card.
Recently, Senators Cotton, Rubio and Boozman proposed a bill that would kill PACE. The largest PACE provider in the U.S., Renovate America, released a statement from its CEO, J.P. McNeill, which said that the new legislation would “destroy jobs and small businesses, result in higher utility bills for families, and prevent Americans from investing in their homes.”
Consumer protections are vital to PACE and those consumer protections need to be formulated in away that ensures the continued existence of PACE.
To learn how you can help save PACE, visit: http://pacenation.us/savepace/