If you’re a Florida homeowner, you should know about a kind of financing that can help homeowners install solar panels and make other kinds of energy-efficiency improvements. It’s called “Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, and it’s a government-backed loan program designed to help people who can’t afford a large up-front payment but who still want to start saving money on their electric bills.
A Florida solar panels PACE loan can be used for many kinds of home energy improvements, and is paid back over time on your property tax bill. That’s why it’s ideal for people who want to go solar but don’t have a lot of cash.
PACE financing has been around in California for a while, and several established companies have brought their offerings across the country to the Sunshine State. The companies that currently offer PACE loans in Florida include Ygrene, Renew Financial, and Alliance NRG through FloridaPACE.
How does PACE financing work in Florida?
The first step is to get solar estimates from installers in your area. Many installers work directly with PACE providers to help you secure funding and make the process as simple as possible.
The PACE lender will take the information from the quote you received and use their appraisal system to determine if your home is eligible for PACE financing. After that, the lender and installer will work together to complete the process, and your shiny new solar panels will be saving you money before you make the first loan payment!
Check out our infographic about PACE financing:
Is PACE financing right for you?
Maybe, maybe not. As the infographic points out, one of the challenges of PACE financing is that interest rates are higher than traditional home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). That means you can get a better solar loan deal if you have good credit and are willing to work with your mortgage lender on a HELOC.
Another concern is the position of the PACE assessment when it comes to foreclosure. Some banks won’t lend money for homes with PACE loans, unless the PACE lender is willing to “subvert” the position of its lien during repayment. That won’t be a concern if you plan to stay in your home during the loan repayment, but it will if you’re thinking about selling soon.
Always make sure you read the fine print before signing anything, and reach out to us if you’re unsure of a clause in a PACE contract.
Also not that the financial returns from solar can vary widely based on the terms of your solar loan or if you pay up front. To learn more, check out our Florida state page for detailed financial estimates for solar payback time, internal rate of return, and more!
Last modified: August 27, 2017