Renovate America secures $200 million to expand HERO

Renovate America is on a roll. Less than one week after announcing that its property assessed clean energy (PACE) program will be available to additional 129,000 homes in Missouri, the company has now closed on a $200 million credit facility with Barclays. Renovate America says that the new funding will be used to further expand its HERO program, which has already served more than 100,000 homes in California and Missouri.

PACE is a novel way of financing solar PV and energy efficiency, which allows homeowners to pay off loans through special liens on their property. This means that the improvements are attached to the property, not the individual, which has made it easier for homeowners who may not be able to pay for such upgrades with cash or to access traditional sources of financing.

After the national spread of PACE programs was stopped dead by semi-public federal mortgage lenders in 2010, the program continued in the California, with Riverside County launching HERO in 2011. Renovate America, as the program’s administrator, has since expanded it not only across California, but into Missouri and recently Florida.

PACE programs like HERO were particularly important for residential solar in previous years before retail banks had developed a sophisticated array of loan products for such systems. Today PACE is one of a variety of financing options for homeowners to finance solar, but PACE programs for homeowners are still not available in all 50 states.

Renovate America has given few details as to how it plans to use the additional $200 million, except to state that “The credit facility further bolsters Renovate America’s liquidity position with enhanced liquidity and will further diversify the company’s funding profile”.