City of Stockton Launches Figtree PACE Program, Helping Homeowners Finance Solar and Improving Property Values

1880

The City of Stockton launches Figtree PACE, enabling commercial and residential property owners to get no-money-down, long-term, low-interest financing for renewable energy, energy-efficiency, and water conservation projects. 

The City of Stockton is launching the energy-efficiency financing program Figtree PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy). The program enables commercial and residential property owners to get no-money-down, long-term, low-interest financing for renewable energy, energy-efficiency, and water conservation projects. Figtree PACE financing is available for commercial, industrial, office, retail, multi-family properties of five or more units, and limited residential in some areas. Projects can run from $5,000 to up to 20% of a property’s value.

PACE financing payments are amortized for up to 20 years via assessments on the property owner’s property tax bills. If an improved property is sold, the financed assessment can be transferred to a new owner so benefits stay with the current property owner, according to San Diego-based clean energy finance company Figtree.

PACE funds can be used for materials and labor costs of permanently installed improvements that reduce a building’s energy or water use. Qualifying improvements include solar panels, high-efficiency lighting, heating and air conditioning (HVAC), windows, reflective roofing, and plumbing fixtures. According to Fitch, many of these improvements qualify for tax credits, accelerated depreciation, and rebates that drive additional savings, further improving the financial incentive to upgrade now. 

Programs like these provide an alternative financing mechanism that can work well for home solar projects. For homeowners who want to own rather than lease their system, PACE can overcome the barrier of high up-front installation costs. While PACE financing does not reduce the total price tag of a solar system, it helps make a system more affordable by spreading the cost of the system over a long time.

“Our aim is to provide financing solutions to help cities like Stockton create jobs and spur economic growth using no public funds,” said Figtree CEO Mahesh Shah. “With PACE, property owners cut their operating costs and improve property values. Contractors and local vendors increase their revenues and the community at large benefits from sustainability and economic stimulus.” 

According to Figtree, they’re the first company in California to successfully raise private capital for commercial PACE projects via a multi-jurisdictional bond issue.