Nearly every article about residential property-assessed clean energy (PACE) starts off with the obligatory description of why the program stalled in recent years.

Now seems like a pretty good time to change that.

For three years, PACE hobbled along due to a conflict with federal housing regulators over its structure. But PACE programs for homeowners have seen unprecedented growth in recent months as more local communities put money behind it, realizing they’re likely not going to get penalized by the federal government.

Yesterday, that resurgence hit an important milestone. The program that started it all in 2008 — Berkeley, California’s Financing Initiative for Renewable and Solar Technology (FIRST) — is finally expanding throughout California to millions more residents.

CaliforniaFIRST will now be available in 17 counties and more than 140 cities throughout the state for homeowners who want to finance efficiency, water conservation and solar projects through their property taxes. With $300 million raised to support retrofits, it’s the biggest PACE program in the country. Read more.