“The Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) legislation enables property owners to accept a voluntary tax assessment as a means of repaying upfront financing of energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements. Twenty-six states in the United States, along with Australia, and New Zealand, have enacted legislation enabling the secure and scalable financing PACE structure. PACE has yet to take off in the U.S. for homes because of uncertainties in the financing of the program from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. But, the commercial side, now solidly financed, can take off.
The key motivator behind PACE is a sound one: there’s “no upfront capital cost.” No upfront capital cost was a key in unlocking the deployment of solar when, at SunEdison, I created the power purchase agreement for the solar industry. It enabled companies like Walmart, Staples, and Whole Foods to buy energy rather than buying a solar system. They pay for the energy used over time. It made solar make business sense.
Now, with this business consortium, we are unlocking the financing for the deployment of 20-year old technologies like more efficient lighting, cooling and heating, and water saving toilets.
When I tell most people about this new program, the immediate reaction is, “Well that’s a no brainer.” But simple, obvious, powerful, business-sense solutions take brains. It then becomes a “no brainer decision” for buyers creating $500 billion dollar industries.”