PACE Program Around Wellington
By David Schaefer and Bryan Hayes
What is the number one consideration when it comes to upgrading your home or business to being energy efficient whether it be the HVAC, impact doors and windows, installing solar panels or other sustainable options?
It is, “Can I afford to pay for it?” Right?
Finding an affordable and reliable contractor is critical in the decision-making process, but there is a financing option with which you may not be familiar, known as PACE, which is administered by the AllianceNRG Program (for residential property owners) and the CounterpointSRE Program (for commercial property owners). Both are authorized to do business throughout Wellington and all of Palm Beach County.
PACE is an acronym for Property Assessed Clean Energy, but includes more than renewable energy and energy efficiency and conservation. It also includes wind resistance improvements.
With PACE, you can finance 100% of your project costs (materials, labor, permits, plans, etc.) and closing costs. Terms range from 5 to 30 years but cannot exceed the useful life of the improvements being installed. Interest rates are fixed. PACE financing is secured by a tax lien on your property and the annual installments are added to your property tax bill.
The process is simple. All of the information, including the application, is online. On the residential side, approval can often be provided in a matter of minutes. Once approved, documents are sent to the homeowner to review, you speak to an authorized representative to review the terms and, if you’re satisfied it’s the right financing option for you, you signed them electronically. Once all documents are returned, you will receive a notice to proceed with your project.
If you do not have a contractor for your project, the AllianceNRG Program can assist you in finding a contractor that is registered with the Program. If you have a contractor that is not registered with the AllianceNRG Program, the Program will assist your contractor in getting registered and familiar with PACE. Each registered contractor has to be licensed and insured as required by law and is required to abide by a code of conduct, which provides a variety of consumer protections. The contractor’s status is checked each time it works on a project financed with PACE financing.
The project will not be funded unless the homeowners sign a certificate stating that they are satisfied with the work completed by the contractor. Furthermore, the contractor also has to sign a certificate stating that they have completed the project that they were authorized to install through the financing. Ensuring this level of customer satisfaction is not available when using a line of credit, credit card, or any other means of financing. No one is vetting the contractor prior to starting the project nor is anyone vetting the project after the work has been completed and before payment is made. If contractors do not adhere to the code of conduct, then they will be dropped from the Program.
The procedures are similar for commercial properties. Because the projects are typically more complex, the process is lengthier, but still much quicker than traditional bank financing. It takes approximately 45 days, which includes the submission of needed documents and underwriting the property and project.
The AllianceNRG and CounterpointeSRE Programs are sponsored by the Florida PACE Funding Agency, a governmental agency that was created in 2011 for the sole purpose of establishing a statewide PACE program. The Agency, through its program administrator, Counterpointe Energy Solutions, seeks to have counties and cities subscribe to its PACE program at no cost to them and seeks a partnership with all subscribing counties and cities. The Agency also oversees the PACE programs it sponsors. Among other things, the Agency ensures that the Programs are following the Agency’s consumer protection policies, including making sure that contractors follow the code of conduct. Finally, since PACE is a form of tax lien, known as an assessment, on the property, it is the Agency that levies the assessment and submits it to the county tax collector that has to put the assessment on the tax rolls.
In Florida, the AllianceNRG and CounterpoineSRE Programs are implemented throughout most of 31 counties in the state covering more than half of the population. The expectation is that within the next nine to 12 months, these programs will be available in at least 80% of the state.
If you are considering remodeling your home or your commercial property, do not let cost stand as a barrier to making it energy efficient or wind resistant. To see if you qualify, and for further details, visit:
Email (Property Owner): Information@AllianceNRG.com
Email (Contractors): Contractorenrollment@AllianceNRG.com
Email (Property Owner): Inquiry@CounterpointeSRE.com
Email (Contractors): Contractor@CounterpointeES.com