Renovate America, the country’s largest provider of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, today welcomed a new report by investment research firm Morningstar that calls PACE a “beneficial” means by which owners can make energy and efficiency upgrades to their properties.
PACE is an innovative form of financing that was developed in California nearly 10 years ago and has since been approved by more than 30 states and the District of Columbia; residential PACE programs are currently active in three states. With PACE financing like Renovate America’s HERO Program, property owners make energy- and water-saving and renewable energy improvements and pay for them over time via an additional line item on their property tax bills. PACE can help owners save money on their utility bills by improving access to more efficient technologies, and PACE supports local economic growth in part by creating jobs that cannot be offshored or automated.
In its report, Morningstar dispelled several myths about PACE financing. The firm said there was little credit risk associated with PACE financing. It also called attention to oversight of the PACE industry by government authorities and the evolving consumer-disclosure framework that it said will increase transparency and consumer protections.
“Morningstar views PACE as a beneficial program that offers corporations and consumers the opportunity to affordably implement energy-efficiency and energy-renewable upgrades,” Morningstar concluded in the report.
“We believe that a PACE assessment does not materially increase the risk to the underlying mortgage, as energy efficiency improvements should bolster property values and lead to tax and utility savings,” the firm said. “As recognition of the nuances in this asset-based obligation becomes widespread, acceptance should fuel future growth.”