Financing Not Based on Credit Scores

PACE helps homeowners go solar with no upfront cost and pay back the financing via their property tax bill.

what is pace?

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing allows homeowners to make renewable energy, energy efficiency, water conservation and seismic upgrades to their homes with no upfront costs. Homeowners pay back the financing through a new line item on their property tax bill.

solar pace financing

We currently offer PACE financing for residential solar PV systems. Approvals are primarily based on the equity people have in their home, which makes PACE attractive to people with good credit as well as people who need alternative financing options. PACE financing also offers low payment options.

Homeowners who want to own their system can use Spruce PACE or our Solar Loan option, while those who don’t want to own the system may opt for our Solar PPA. We also offer traditional unsecured Energy Efficiency financing.

Contractor benefits

Spruce PACE for solar gives contractors even more consumer finance options, so they have the right finance products to meet their customers’ needs.

  • High approval rates
  • Instant eligibility results
  • No contractor fee
  • One eligibility check for all financing

Are you a contractor interested in offering Spruce PACE financing?

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SPRUCE PACE AVAILABILITY

Spruce PACE financing for solar is available in participating municipalities around California via the California Statewide Communities Development Authority (CSCDA), the largest joint powers authority in the nation. We plan to introduce PACE for energy efficiency improvements later this year.

View participating municipalities >

HOMEOWNER FAQS

Can I use any contractor to install an eligible project?

No. Spruce has a rigorous vetting process to ensure contractors within our network are honest, thorough and provide high quality work. Contractors must be properly licensed and bonded with the Contractors State License Board, and registered with the Spruce PACE Program in order to install eligible projects.

We pride ourselves on being leaders in consumer protection. Our General Counsel chairs the Consumer Protection Committee of the national solar trade association (SEIA).

See Section 2.5 of the Homeowner Handbook for more information.

What are the eligibility criteria for PACE financing?

Eligibility requirements for residential properties include:

  • Minimum of 10% equity in property (mortgage-related debt below 90% of property value)
  • Mortgage payments and property taxes are current
  • No more than one 30-day mortgage late payment in the past 12 months
  • No more than one late property tax payment in the past 3 years
  • No outstanding involuntary liens, such as tax liens or mechanic’s liens over $1,000
  • Property isn’t an asset in an active bankruptcy
  • No active bankruptcies in the last 7 years. If a bankruptcy was discharged 2 to 7 years prior, and the homeowner hasn’t had any late payments in the last 24 months (more than 60 days past due), the homeowner may be approved

See Section 2.2 of the Homeowner Handbook for more information.

How is PACE financing different than just paying with a credit card?

Unlike credit cards, PACE doesn’t have credit score requirements. Instead, interest rates are based on the financing term and are fixed.

With terms up to 30 years, PACE gives you more time and lower payments compared to other financing methods like credit cards.

Where will my PACE payments appear, and what is included in those payments?

Payments due for PACE will appear on your tax bill as one line item called “Spruce PACE.” The amount shown on this single line includes the cost of the eligible improvements plus all interest and fees.

If you escrow your property taxes through your mortgage provider, you may want to notify them to increase your monthly impound to account for the increase in your tax bill due to the PACE assessment.

For a detailed explanation of these costs, see Section 4.3 of the Homeowner Handbook.

Can I sell or refinance if I have a PACE assessment?

Yes. Properties with PACE assessments can be sold or refinanced at any point. Remaining PACE assessment balances can be paid off or transferred to the new owner. The process depends on lender criteria: some lenders and/or buyers require the outstanding assessment balance to be paid off when a homeowner refinances or sells a home.

Limited subordination may be available for some homeowners looking to sell their homes or refinance their mortgages.

See section 7.4 of the Homeowner Handbook for more information.

Does a PACE assessment affect the home buying or selling process?

Yes. Listing agents should disclose that there’s an additional tax assessment on the property tax bill and explain that savings help offset the assessment. Homeowners may be able to transfer any remaining balance to the buyer when they sell their home. The buyer’s lender may allow the transfer to the buyer, or they may require the balance to be paid off or partially paid off.

See section 7.4 of the Homeowner Handbook for more information.

Since the PACE assessment is paid through my property tax bill, is it tax-deductible?

The interest on a PACE assessment may be deductible. You’re urged to consult a tax adviser regarding the deductibility of such payments.

Where can I go to learn more about PACE?

There are several resources available for additional information. For the most comprehensive guide to Spruce PACE, please review the Homeowner Handbook.

You can also visit our website sprucefinance.com, or call 888-532-1347.

Program call center hours are Monday-Friday 5am-6pm PT.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Homeowners may find more information and our Homeowner Handbook on our Spruce PACE California page.

Municipal officials may find more information on our government page.