Renovate America passes $1 billion milestone in energy/water retrofit loans

Leading clean-energy lender has topped $1 billion in loans for home improvements — a milestone for the San Diego company as well as a once-foundering government program to encourage projects that reduce electricity or water use.

Renovate America got into the business in 2011 as the Property Assessed Clean Energy financing program, or Pace, was struggling to overcome opposition from mortgage lenders and federal housing regulators that had stalled the clean-energy lending effort. Since then, the lender has provided money to 44,000 households for efficiency projects in partnership with local governments using the Pace program.

American residential energy efficiency is at a tipping point,” said Renovate America Chief Executive J.P. McNeill. “Pace financing is accelerating the adoption of renewable energy, energy efficiency and water efficiency in the housing sector.

The Pace program finances 100% of efficiency improvements such as new heating and cooling systems and solar power, requiring no upfront cash outlay. The term of the financing is based on the useful life of the product, up to 20 years, which can lower monthly payments.

The payments are collected through regular property tax payments.

Renovate America says the $1-billion loan milestone represents less than one-half of 1% of the homes in California that could participate in the Pace program.

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