Katherine Tweed – Green Tech
Property-assessed clean energy loan (PACE) programs for both residential and commercial sectors are booming in 2014, with much more growth to come in 2015.
California has completed about $500 million in residential PACE projects for around 25,000 homes, according to PACENow, a nonprofit that promotes the PACE concept. The commercial market has closed about $100 million in completed projects, with another $400 million in the pipeline. The approximately $600 million in completed projects is up from about $60 million in 2013.
PACE programs allow investments in energy-efficiency retrofits and distributed renewable generation to be paid back through property taxes, which lowers the risk for both lenders and owners and can potentially open up a far larger swath of the energy-efficiency market.
Various players were able to securitize PACE loans in 2014. In Connecticut, the state’s Green Bank sold its first batch of PACE projects to Clean Fund. Renovate America, which has executed 95 percent of all residential projects in California, securitized more than $200 million in residential PACE bonds this year.
Most of the money in commercial and residential goes to energy-efficiency upgrades, but about a quarter of commercial projects are renewable energy projects. (…)