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California cities re-introducing residential PACE

02. December 2013 | Markets & TrendsIndustry & SuppliersGlobal PV markets | By:  Edgar Meza

San Francisco is set to re-start the Property Assessed Clean Energy program to assist homeowners finance solar installations. Despite opposition by the federal government, the scheme is gaining steam.

Yingli system, home, Antioch, California

The PACE program provides homeowners with an alternative to leasing schemes.

Yingli Solar

Cities in California look set to revive Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing programs aimed at funding residential solar installations.

PACE programs allow homeowners to borrow money to install solar panels and to pay the loan in installments as a line item on their property taxes. The program also includes building updgrades that save energy.

The program originally began as a pilot program in the city of Berkeley in 2008 and quickly spread to other states in the country.

In 2010, however, the Federal Housing Finance Agency stopped the expansion of the program across the nation, saying the loans posed an unacceptable risk to mortgage lenders.

Although the innovative financing scheme was blocked by federal authorities three years ago in the wake of the subprime mortgage crisis, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a state bill in September that will create a state-run reserve fund for new PACE programs. Read more.