Federal study sees PACE driving solar growth

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory analysis offers evidence that creative financing mechanism prompted thousands of California homeowners to go solar through property assessed clean energy

PACE Solar California, property assessed clean energy

(PRNewsfoto/Renovate America)

A federally funded study found that residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (R-PACE) programs like Renovate America’s HERO financing increased deployment of residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in California. 

SAN DIEGO, April 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — A federally funded study published offers evidence that the creative home-improvement financing option known as Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) works. It has been “uniquely successful” as a driver of residential solar-power systems in California.

First off, the analysis by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) covered the years 2010-2015. That’s when residential PACE programs such as Renovate America’s HERO financing were expanding rapidly across California. Therefore, While earlier studies demonstrated that early, regional PACE programs increased deploying residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Therefore, this new analysis is the first to prove these impacts from HERO and other large, statewide residential PACE (R-PACE) programs.

“Our estimates imply that PV deployment financed by R-PACE programs would likely not have occurred without the programs,” researchers Jeffrey Deason and Sean Murphy wrote.  “These results suggest that R-PACE programs have increased PV deployment in California even in relatively recent years, as R-PACE programs have grown in market share and as alternate approaches for financing solar PV have developed.”

PACE programs like HERO allow homeowners to make energy and efficiency improvements to their homes. Then they pay for them over time at a competitive, fixed interest rate. That’s through an extra, voluntary assessment on their property taxes.

“PACE designed to encourage adopting more clean-energy technologies, and it’s encouraging to see evidence that these programs are really moving the needle when it comes to driving deployment of distributed solar PV and empowering homeowners to go solar,” said Renovate America CEO Roy Guthrie.

Since it launched in late 2011, HERO has financed deploying over 183 megawatts of residential solar capacity. That’s across over 30,000 homes. Seems it’s more than any other PACE provider. That’s equal to almost 5% of the total residential solar PV capacity installed. Installed across the territory covered by the three California investor-owned utilities (SDGE, PG&E, SCE). So, put it another way, HERO has financed installing more PV capacity than exists in the following 14 states, combined (as reported by SEIA as of March 2018). These States are Alaska, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, Nebraska and Oklahoma, both Dakotas, Rhode Island, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Therefore, the LBNL analysis, which funded by U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy – Building Technologies Office.

It noted that California’s residential PACE programs are worth studying. That’s because they have been “uniquely successful”. Best part, among energy-efficiency and solar PV financing programs. California is the nation’s largest market for PACE financing.

The researchers noted that California identified PACE. It’s identified that will help it meet the energy-efficiency targets laid out in Senate Bill 350. That’s the 2015 law calling for the state to double energy-efficiency savings by 2050. They added that several states are considering an increasing focus on financing programs like PACE. That’s opposed to utility rebates to drive deployment of energy efficiency.

In conclusion, the full LBNL study is available at: http://eta-publications.lbl.gov/sites/default/files/berkeley_lab_r-pace_pv_deployment_-_final_03202018.pdf

Finally, Renovate America is the source of this story.
Renovate America offers a tech-enabled financing platform for home improvements that empowers communities to modernize and make their housing stock more efficient, while giving small businesses the tools they need to grow.

In addition to financing home improvements through an unsecured lending product, Benji, Renovate America offers communities HERO financing. HERO is the leading residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program in the U.S. and the owners of over 115,000 homes to make energy and efficiency improvements.

It estimate that HERO is on track to save billions of dollars in energy and water bills. It’s created over 25,000 local trade jobs. These jobs cannot be off shored or automated. Renovate America has built the world’s largest green bond platform. With a volume of originations that enables securitization of HERO PACE bonds multiple times a year.  It’s so so attracting international investment. That helps to meet U.S. clean-energy goals.

SOURCE Renovate America

https://www.renovateamerica.com/financing/hero

Written by greenlivingguy

The Green Living Guy, Seth Leitman is a green living expert, celebrity and Editor of the McGraw-Hill, TAB Green Guru Guides. Seth is also an Author, Radio Host, Reporter, Writer and a Environmental Consultant on green living. The Green Living Guy writes about green living, green lighting, the green guru guides and more. Seth's books range from: # Build Your Own Electric Vehicle by Bob Brant and Seth Leitman (2nd and 3rd editions) # Build Your Own Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle by Seth Leitman # Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle by Carl Vogel # Green Lighting by Seth Leitman, Brian Clark Howard and Bill Brinsky # Solar Power For Your Home by David Findley # Renewable Energies For Your Home by Russel Gehrke # Do-it-Yourself Home Energy Audits by David Findley # Build Your Own Small Wind Power System by Brian Clark Howard and Kevin Shea # and more green living books to follow.

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