Introducing PACE - The Ultimate Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Financing Option
PACE - Property Assessed Clean Energy is a piece of financing model that would allow homeowners easily obtain loans for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects to their home.
How it works. This six minute video from Clean Skies News professionally explains PACE. Basically PACE allows homeowners to get low interest loans for energy efficiency measures they install on their homes. They make payments to pay off the loan using the money they would normally pay for property taxes:
As the video and a July Sustainable Industries' article revealed, the loans are not favored by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - America's mainstream home mortgage lender. These mortgage corporations gripe over a detail regarding homeowners that default on their home loans: "In the case of default, the lender of a PACE loan is paid before the holder of the mortgage. Such 'senior liens' prohibit Fannie and Freddie from purchasing such loans" (Sustainable Industries, July 2010). What this means is that should someone default on their loans, it is possible that the debt to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could be wiped off the slate. The mortgage corporations would then have to go after the debtor as opposed to being able to foreclose the home and put it up for sale. It's actually a pretty fascinating point and should be examined further.
PACE is not currently being implemented in most of the nation. It has become popular in California, where it originated in Berkeley, but few other states have adopted the model. I know personally of individuals who have tried to convince their local, state, and federal government representatives to adopt the model, but more awareness and momentum is needed. To learn more about PACE, visit renewfund.com.
It's no big secret that the best way to save energy is by retrofitting buildings with energy efficient windows, insulation, and renewable energy installations. However, as any that has ever tried to retrofit their home bathroom or kitchen, costs can range in the thousands. The savings are there, but over time and possibly many years. If the government could help out and create some law supporting PACE there would certainly be a boom in the green building and energy efficient building industry. A boom in the green building industry would mean a boom in green jobs to help out the economy; the bottom line is PACE is a winner for everyone.