New Legislation in California Strengthens PACE Financing Standards
Property assessed clean energy (PACE) allows homeowners to make crucial home improvements, without having high upfront costs.
Homeowners can repay the financing over a long period of time, while benefiting from energy upgrades in their home.
Recently, California Legislation strengthened PACE financing standards and consumer protections.
In September, two bills, AB 1284 and SB 242, were both approved by the California Assembly and Senate.
In October, both bills were signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown.
Both bills strengthen consumer protections for homeowners and permit California’s Department of Business Oversight (DBO) to oversee the PACE industry.
Specifically, because of AB 1284, DBO now has oversight over standards and licensing for the PACE industry.
There were also new underwriting standards, including an evaluation of a property owner’s ability to pay, and tightening of existing underwriting standards
SB 242, requires PACE program administrators to call every property owner to confirm that he/she acknowledges and agrees with the key terms of the PACE financing, before work on their property can begin. It also gives them a three-day right to cancel their PACE assessment.
PACE program administrators are now required to report data to local government partners such as, estimates on energy and water savings, and local economic and job impacts.
Both bills are designed to ensure that homeowners have a positive PACE experience.
Since PACE started in California, it has provided upfront financing to over 150,000 families, allowing them to make critical energy, water efficiency, and renewable energy upgrades to their homes. It has also created more than 15,000 local jobs and will generate more than $3 billion in utility bill savings.
EnergyLink is a PACE Approved Developer in states across the US.