How PACE Financing Works?

Pace financing

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing is an innovative program that helps homeowners and commercial property owners fund energy-efficient, renewable energy, and water conservation projects. With the growing emphasis on sustainability and reducing carbon footprints, understanding how PACE financing works can be crucial for making informed decisions about upgrading properties.

What is PACE Financing?

PACE financing allows property owners to finance the up-front cost of energy or other eligible improvements on a property and then pay the costs back over time through a voluntary assessment. This assessment is added to the property tax bill and is repaid annually over a period of up to 20 years, depending on the agreement.

How Does PACE Financing Work?

  1. Application Process: Property owners interested in PACE financing begin by selecting a qualified contractor and applying through a PACE program administrator. The administrator evaluates the proposed project, the property’s eligibility, and the owner’s ability to repay the loan.
  2. Project Approval and Funding: Once approved, the project receives funding from a PACE provider. The property owner can then proceed with the installation of the approved energy-efficient improvements.
  3. Repayment: Repayment is made through a special assessment added to the property tax bill. This means that the property owner makes annual payments over the agreed term, which can range from 10 to 20 years. These payments are often lower than the savings generated by the improvements, making the financing effectively cost-neutral or positive for the owner.

Benefits of PACE Financing

Problems with PACE Loans

Despite its many benefits, PACE financing is not without its challenges and criticisms:

  1. High Interest Rates: Some PACE loans come with higher interest rates compared to traditional financing options, which can increase the overall cost of the improvements.
  2. Impact on Property Sale: Although the loan can be transferred to the new owner, some buyers may be deterred by the additional assessment on the property tax bill. This can complicate or delay property sales.
  3. Foreclosure Risk: Because PACE assessments are added to property taxes, failure to pay can lead to foreclosure. This risk is similar to any other property tax delinquency but is a significant consideration for potential borrowers.
  4. Regulatory Changes: The regulatory landscape for PACE financing can vary significantly between states and municipalities. Some regions have stricter rules and protections, which can impact the availability and terms of PACE financing.

PACE Financing Calculator

To better understand the financial impact of a PACE loan, property owners can use a PACE financing calculator. This tool helps estimate:

Example Calculation

Imagine a homeowner wants to install solar panels costing $20,000. Using a PACE financing calculator, the homeowner can input the loan amount, expected interest rate (say 6%), and the repayment period (15 years).

The calculator will show an annual payment, including principal and interest, and compare it to the expected annual energy savings. If the energy savings are estimated at $1,800 per year and the annual PACE payment is $1,500, the homeowner not only finances the project with no upfront cost but also enjoys a net positive cash flow of $300 per year.


PACE financing offers a compelling option for property owners looking to make energy-efficient improvements without the burden of upfront costs. However, it’s crucial to carefully evaluate the terms, potential interest rates, and overall financial impact before committing to a PACE loan. Using tools like a PACE financing calculator can help in making an informed decision that aligns with long-term financial and environmental goals.

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