What Homeowners Need to Know About the California FIRST PACE Program

Today’s homeowners are more conscious about the efficiency of their properties’ systems.  By being more mindful of the choices they make for their homes, they can save money, conserve precious resources, and contribute to making their community a more environment-friendly one.

To this end, California’s residents make the most out of the available opportunities for making their homes more energy efficient. One of the best options they can consider is the California FIRST PACE program.

What is it?

CaliforniaFIRST is a public/private Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program for both residential and commercial properties. For homeowners, that means that they are provided upfront funding for improving their home to become more energy efficient, able to save more water, and more focused on utilizing renewable energy.

The program is sponsored by the California Statewide Community Development Authority and Los Angeles County, among others, and is administered by Renew Financial.

How does it work?

Homeowners will be issued a municipal bond which they can use to finance the installation of water and energy improvements in their residence. This municipal bond will become a line item on the homeowners’ property tax bill, enabling them to pay back the money they used through their property taxes. They will not be required to put money down and this kind of financing does not rely on a credit score; these features translate to a greater number of Californians being eligible for the program.

Here are some of the reasons why the CaliforniaFIRST program would be an important consideration in any homeowner’s objective of living in a more energy-efficient house that also makes smart use of energy and water:

  • The program offers 100% financing, so there are no out-of-pocket costs to worry about.
  • You can choose among the available flexible payment terms (5, 10, 15, 20 or 25 years).
  • Homeowners can borrow up to 15% of property value.
  • The improvements may add value to the property.
  • There is no prepayment penalty; plus, re-amortization is free.
  • The balance may be transferred to the new owner in the event that you sell the property.
  • The financed amount for home improvements won’t appear on your credit report.
  • In-home approvals are completed quickly.
  • The program will create no impact on future rent-to-income ratio.

To take the first steps toward living in a property that makes smart and efficient use of both energy and water, consider the many benefits of a program like CaliforniaFIRST. Talk to your trusted local HVAC specialists to determine whether it would be a good fit for your household’s specific needs and preferences.


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