BRINGING CONSUMER FINANCE EXPERTISE TO PACE
Spruce has financed and serviced tens of thousands of home energy and efficiency projects throughout the U.S. Now, we’re bringing our expertise to the California PACE market with California Statewide Communities Development Authority (CSCDA).
SIMPLE PROCESS, COMPLETE PROGRAM
With just one straightforward resolution, you get a comprehensive program that we manage for you, including:
- Contractor vetting
- Sales and marketing compliance guidelines
- Project underwriting
- Robust reporting and metrics
SPRUCE PACE AVAILABILITY
Spruce PACE is currently available to finance residential solar PV systems in municipalities in California. We plan to add PACE financing for energy efficiency improvements later this year.
LEADING CONSUMER PROTECTION STANDARDS
We take our consumer protection responsibilities seriously. Our processes go above and beyond the CSCDA’s stringent requirements, and we have helped lead consumer protection efforts for the U.S. residential solar industry through our work with the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
frequently asked questions
Browse our list of FAQs about how PACE works and how it can benefit your community.
What is PACE?
PACE is an acronym for “property-assessed clean energy.” PACE allows residential and commercial property owners to finance the installation of energy and water efficiency improvements on their homes or businesses without any up-front, out-of-pocket costs. Instead, property owners pay for the improvements over time as an additional line item on their property tax bill. PACE is a public/private partnership administered by Spruce Finance on behalf of municipalities. The Program Sponsor is the California Statewide Communities Development Authority (CSCDA).
Can a property owner use any contractor to install an eligible project?
No. 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. Contractors can register on our website to participate in the program.
Are taxpayer dollars used to fund projects or administer the program?
No. Every project is funded by private capital. Program administration costs are paid for with fees that are rolled into each project’s financing.
Cities do not incur any costs by opting into the program. County tax assessors and tax collectors incur small costs to place each PACE assessment on the tax rolls and collect and distribute PACE assessment payments. However, counties are reimbursed for these costs through the above-mentioned fees that are part of each project’s financing.
Can a property owner sell or refinance if they have a PACE assessment?
Properties with PACE assessments can be sold or refinanced at any point. Remaining PACE assessment balances may be paid off or may be 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.
Industry reports indicate that over 5,000 homeowners have refinanced or transferred PACE assessments to the new owners at the time of sale.
Does a PACE assessment affect the buying or selling process?
Yes. Listing agents should disclose that there is an additional tax assessment on the property tax bill and explain how the energy and/or water 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.
What improvements are eligible for PACE financing?
Currently only residential solar systems are eligible for Spruce PACE. A more extensive list of home improvements will be available later in 2017.
What are the eligibility criteria for PACE financing?
- Specific eligibility requirements for residential properties include:
- All mortgage-related debt must not exceed 90% of the value of the property.
- Mortgage payments must be current at the time of application, and property owner(s) must not have had more than one
- 30-day mortgage late payment over the past twelve months.
- Property taxes must be current and there must be no more than one late payment in the past three years.
- No outstanding involuntary liens, such as tax liens or mechanic’s liens.
- Property owner(s) must not have had any active bankruptcies within the last three years, and the property must not be an asset in an active bankruptcy. However, if a bankruptcy was discharged between two and seven years prior, and the property owner(s) have not had any additional late payments more than 60 days past due in the last 24 months, the property owner may be approved.
- Mobile homes must be permanently attached to the property and the owner of the underlying property must be the applicant and be subject to real property taxes.