Only a day after the White House announced new federal guidelines to remove roadblocks to the use of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans, Vivint Solar announced that it will begin offering Renovate America’s HERO program as a PACE financing option.
Under the HERO program, homeowners can pay off PV systems through their property taxes at a fixed interest rate under terms of five to 20 years. Interest on the payments will be tax deductible, and when the home is sold any remaining balance on the assessment will be transferred to the new owner, in line with the FHA guidelines announced yesterday.
Vivint notes that PACE financing is particularly appropriate for customers who are not well served by other financing options. “We are excited to work together with Renovate America to provide this innovative solar financing product that will make solar available to a wider range of consumers, including those who either do not have the upfront capital for a solar energy system or for whom traditional loans, Power Purchase Agreements or Solar System Lease Agreements are not viable options,” said Vivint Solar Executive Vice President of Capital Markets, Thomas
Plagemann in a press statement.
Vivint also says that the new PACE guidelines released by the federal administration “open the door to a wider acceptance of the PACE financing product throughout the United States”.
Renovate America estimates that in five years homeowners have financed more than $1.5 billion in energy efficiency improvements and solar installations on their properties. This includes the installation of around 19,000 rooftop PV systems, or 1/4 of the total projects financed through the program.
VIvint plans to roll out the program first in California, where PACE is already well established, including legal structures to enable this form of financing. The company says that it also plans to expand nationwide through “working with state and local governments”, a nod to the fact that laws to enable PACE are different in the 14 other states that have enacted them.