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PACE in CA: Property owners can get a sweet deal on financing for water-conservation improvements

With California’s drought likely to force new water restrictions, many residential and commercial property owners could put a familiar tool to a new use — financing improvements to conserve water.

The tool is called the Property Assessed Clean Energy program. Known as PACE, the financing mechanism has been a popular program for adding solar power. But it also can be used to finance many water conservation upgrades.

On the water efficiency side, the program can be used to install drip irrigation, some kinds of drought-tolerant landscaping, high-efficiency faucets and shower heads and high-efficiency toilets, said Severn Williams, spokesman for RenovateAmerica. The San Diego-based organization operates its Home Energy Renovation Opportunity — or HERO — program in several local jurisdictions. Read more.