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Federal Housing Agency Gets in the Way of Rooftop Solar

A popular program by which homeowners can finance solar panels and pay off the costs on their property tax bills may have been needlessly suppressed by federal lenders, but a Tuesday announcement in Sacramento shows that the program can still work for energy efficiency upgrades at commercial properties.

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans are an innovative program launched in California cities like Berkeley and Palm Desert that allowed homeowners to borrow money from local funds and use it to install rooftop solar on their buildings, with repayment set up by way of a recurring charge on the homeowner’s property tax bill. The most popular PACE loan programs were set up so that each property owner would save more on energy costs than they’d repay in that same period on their tax bill, thus providing a financial incentive for the household. Read more.