Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE): Allowing Private Investors to Buy into YOUR Solar Panels

by Jesse Crabtree

Few people disagree with the idea of clean renewable energy, but for many barriers to entry like high upfront costs make its implementation unfeasible. According to RenewableEnergyWorld.com, even after a 30% investment tax credit, a typical 5kW home solar system costs between $14,000 and $20,000. The Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program however, is an attempt by the government to help going green require a little less green. What makes PACE different than typical government programs is that it uses funds from private investors to help finance more efficient home energy systems. Homeowners are extended a special type of loan to pay for energy improvements such as solar panels or proper insulation and in turn pay off the loan through higher property taxes. These loans are packaged into bonds and sold to private investors, who in turn receive the extra property taxes in annuity—think mortgage backed securities but without the dubious valuations and questionable morality. Continue reading