Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing in Washington

Since 2010, nearly $600 million have been invested in building improvements in 16 states through an innovative financing tool called Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE). Fourteen more states have recently passed PACE enabling legislation and are now developing PACE programs.

Using PACE financing, private lenders fund energy efficiency improvements, solar PV, water conservation measures and seismic upgrades. PACE programs follow well-regulated underwriting practices to ensure that the investment pays for itself over the financing term. PACE financing is secured by placing a lien on the property for the term of the debt, which is typically 15 to 30 years. This long-term financing allows property owners to pay for building improvements (often without an initial cost outlay) that lower operating costs and increase property values, where other forms of financing would generally be less attractive. A PACE lien is paid back by the property owner as a special assessment on their property tax bill that stays with the property when it is sold, rather than with the original loan recipient. This financing innovation improves the security for capital providers, and it relieves concern about long-term debt baggage for building owners who may one day choose to sell a property. PACE in Washington would therefore make investment in existing building stock more attractive, and thereby stimulate local economic development and jobs.

A growing coalition of economic development, private industry, social justice, and environmental stakeholders is coming together to promote an effective path forward for development of legislation that would enable PACE financing in Washington.

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Featured Image: zHome | Issaquah, WA
Architect: David Vandervort Architects | Builder: Ichijo USA
Project Partners: City of Issaquah, King County, Built Green, Puget Sound Energy, Port Blakely Communities, and WSU Energy Extension
Photo courtesy of zHome
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