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Office of Energy & Sustainable Development (OESD)
Office of Energy & Sustainable Development (OESD)

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing allows property owners to borrow money to pay for renewable energy systems, energy efficiency improvements, water conservation and/or seismic retrofits and spread the cost of the upgrade over a period of time. Payments are made through a special assessment on the property tax bill. Improving energy and water efficiency, installing renewable energy systems, and updating buildings for seismic safety are central to combating climate change and improving community resiliency. PACE is an innovative financing solution that helps property owners overcome the barrier of high up-front costs.

Benefits:

  • No upfront costs
  • Long-term, fixed-cost 100% financing
  • Loans secured by the property rather than the owner's credit standing
  • Assessment may be passed on to the next property owner in the event of sale
  • Can be combined with rebates

Who can take advantage of PACE?

PACE financing is available to property owners in cities such as Berkeley which have opted in to a PACE program. PACE programs offer financing terms to property owners with at least some equity in their home or commercial property and who have not been delinquent on their property tax or mortgage payments. For more information about property eligibility, types of ugprades that can be financed, and financing terms, see the individual providers below.

PACE providers in Berkeley:   

Additional providers can be found through CSCDA Open PACE

Risk Acknowledgement for PACE: Before completing a program application, you should carefully review any mortgage agreements. Entering into a contract without the consent of the existing lender(s) could constitute an event of default. Further, property owners who sell or refinance their property may be required to prepay such assessments at the time they close their sale or refinancing. For more information Residential PACE, see the Council Report on the Status on Property Assessed Clean Energy Loans.

Technical Assistance: PACE is one option for solar and energy efficiency financing. Always get multiple bids and check all available financing and costs to find the best option for your project. For free, unbiased technical assistance on solar and energy efficiency upgrade projects, rebates, and financing, contact the nonprofit SmartSolar Program.  

Resources and Information:

  • Energy Upgrade California - rebates for energy efficiency upgrades that can be used in combination with PACE financing
  • Solar - information on solar energy
  • Energy Efficiency - information on energy efficiency and whole-house upgrades
  • Seismic Safety - information and resources on upgrading buildings for seismic safety, including soft-story and unreinforced masonry buildings

Berkeley FIRST: Learn more  about the original pilot program (now concluded) that created the PACE financing model. Berkeley FIRST was the first Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Financing District.

Check out the Guide to Renewable Energy Financing Districts, designed for local governments interested in establishing an Energy Financing District in their region.

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