The Department of Energy (DOE) today released a draft of updated best practice guidelines for Residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans, used to finance solar panels and other home improvements designed to save energy.
DOE hopes the new guidelines will enable more states and communities to take advantage of the PACE programs, which are aimed toward resiliency and job creation, as well as reducing home energy bills.
PACE enables many state and local governments to offer innovative financing options for home owners to fund energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation improvements. Home owners pay back the cost over time through their property taxes. When the property is sold, the remaining PACE loan stays with the property and the next owner is responsible for repaying the loan.
As of May, nearly 100,000 home owners had used PACE loans, representing a total investment of more than $2 billion in home improvements.
The revised Best Practice Guidelines for Residential PACE Financing Programs focus on program design, including protections for consumers and for lenders who hold mortgages on properties with PACE assessments; compatibility of PACE with other energy-efficiency programs and services; and evaluation of program outcomes.
To comment on the draft guidelines, visit the DOE State and Local Solution Center. The comment period is open through Aug. 19.