PACE financing can be used to finance a wide variety of energy upgrades in commercial buildings. Renewable Funding PACE programs in California can finance renewable energy, energy efficiency, or water conservation upgrades that are permanently affixed to the building. These include envelope measures, HVAC, cool roofs, photovoltaics, solar thermal, and plumbing upgrades. Because the cost of the measures is repaid through the property tax bill, PACE is generally not appropriate for public buildings but is suitable for a wide range of privately owned or non-profit buildings including commercial office, retail, industrial, or agricultural facilities.
Renewable Funding administers PACE programs for over 140 local governments. By providing upfront capital and allowing property owners to repay on their property taxes over a 15-20 year period, the PACE model overcomes two of the biggest hurdles to widespread adoption of renewable energy and energy efficiency – the high upfront cost and property owners’ uncertainty about when they might sell their property.
Renewable Funding provides PACE financing to commercial properties throughout California through San Francisco’s GreenFinanceSF and CaliforniaFIRST, a statewide program that currently serves 14 counties. Both of these programs are using the Open Market PACE model, which gives owners of commercial buildings the flexibility to choose a contractor and install a custom-tailored clean energy project on an accelerated schedule. Property owners choose the best financing option, with the investors’ repayment secured through a special tax assessment levied on the property and repaid by the owner through the property tax bill. Tax assessments attach to the property, not the owner, and can extend project paybacks for up to 20 years.