First established in 2008, PACE, or Property Assessed Clean Energy, programs are typically established by local governments, which tie the privately financed loans to a home and allow them to be repaid as line items on property tax bills. Beyond energy efficiency, the loans can be used for other items that serve a public good, such as low-flow toilets that save water. Last year I created an article on PACE, how it works and who can benefit from it.
This year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed two bills that boost consumer protections for borrowers taking out PACE loans, a type of financing that funds energy-efficient home improvements. The bills enshrine a number of reforms into law, including a first-time requirement that a borrower’s income be factored into underwriting. The legislation also bars kickbacks and establishes a minimum training requirement for contractors, who typically act as salespeople.
To be more precise, here are the changes and updates that took place in the program:
- Property valuation requirements: All PACE providers must follow the same criteria in determining the value of properties during underwriting.
- Confirm-terms calls: To avoid possible misunderstanding about the financing, all PACE providers are required to call and record every applicant to confirm the payment terms before the homeowner signs the final financing paperwork.
- Same price as cash: Contractors are prohibited from charging more for a project financed with PACE than a project paid in cash.
- No kickbacks: PACE providers are banned from providing direct or indirect cash payments or anything of a material value beyond the cost of the project to a contractor in exchange for offering their PACE products.
- Expanded right to cancel: If the homeowner has a change of heart within three business days of signing their PACE financing documents, they have the right to cancel the PACE financing as well as the home improvement contract that was to be funded via PACE.
Where To Find PACE?
PACEnation.org is the digital way of getting in touch with the program. However, for general information regarding the program and eligibility, contact the individual PACE provider in your area that you can search for here. And in case you have any questions or concerns about the program, you can submit them here.
If you’d like more information on the San Fernando Valley or Los Angeles, or to have help looking for your next home, please feel free to reach out! I’m happy to help, no obligation.