sunMAX - Pre-Sale: PACE Financing

Background

PACE Financing is an easy, clever way for customers to fund their 1) residential, and, 2) commercial solar projects. In summary, a PACE financing partner works with the a) customer, and, b) city, to roll in the cost of the solar systems (or home improvements) into the property tax bill (amortized over X years).

For a complete list of PACE Programs nationwide, check out PACE Nation.

Overview

How does PACE financing work? In simple terms:

  1. The city partners with a company to administer the program (or the city decides to do it themselves).
  2. The program is then usually funded with municipal bonds.
  3. The homeowner gets a site evaluation for solar power or energy efficiency improvements with any company they choose.
  4. Once a quote is given, the property owner applies with the city program administrator. A small fee covers the cost of the municipal solar financing program administration and discourages frivolous applications.
  5. Once the homeowner’s solar system is approved by the city, the program administrator pays the installer for the system that the homeowner purchased. The check is forwarded directly to the solar installer. There is no upfront payment for the homeowner, except possibly a deposit.
  6. The property owner pays it off on his or her property tax bill over 20 years, at a competitive rate of interest.
  7. If the home is ever sold, the solar system goes with it along with any tax liability.

For more information, check out US Department of Energy.

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