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Solar Financing : PACE Municipal Financing (Property Assessed Clean Energy)

The Pros and Cons Of PACE

If you haven't figured it out by now, there are a lot of unique ways to finance the purchase and installation of a solar energy system, but PACE Municipal Financing may just be the most unique and ingenious idea we've come across.  In a nutshell, PACE (which stands for Property Assessed Clean Energy) is a government program that takes the cost of a solar energy system and installation and rolls that cost into your property taxes for the next 20 years.

This is a truly smart way to get into a solar energy system because you will typically be saving more money each month on your electricity bill that will be reflected in the rise in your property taxes.  Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of PACE programs.

PACE Pros:

  1. There is little or no up-front cost
  2. The homeowner will usually not feel any negative financial impact
  3. Jobs are created by the city for installation and logistics
  4. Funding comes from the homeowner, so no other government programs are adversely affected
  5. The improvements will generally up the resale value of the home
  6. SRECs will be available to provide additional income from the solar power system

PACE Cons:

  1. Not available in many states
  2. Tax liability rolls over if home is sold; could make selling more difficult
  3. Approval by the city is needed prior to installation

PACE offers a fresh idea that will hopefully allow many more people to be able to get into solar energy.  These programs have already done very well in California and a handful of other states, so hopefully programs like this will come to your state soon, if they aren't yet available.  A few additional things to keep in mind if you're considering PACE financing is that you may not be able to customize your system or choose your individual components, since the packages, vendors and installation companies will generally be hired by the state to do all the jobs covered by the program.  This will typically not be a big problem, however if you had your heart set on solar shingles, you may get disappointed.

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