Green Energy Financing
Did you know energy improvements and conservation upgrades can be paid for with little to no cost upfront? In the City of Sacramento, programs are available to help residents and businesses save energy and water while improving the quality of their home or building. Many of these programs offer financing options or offset the costs of upgrades such as improvements to mechanical and electrical systems, installation of water-efficient fixtures, and development of onsite renewable energy and electric vehicle charging.
Water and energy improvements to existing buildings and homes can provide many benefits. Upgrades can improve indoor quality and comfort while lowering utility bills. Completing multiple improvements at one time can also allow for the bundling of energy measures, which may result in greater savings and provide a quicker return on investment. The City promotes several voluntary programs to address financing barriers and encourages individuals to consider all options.
Go Green Finance
Provided by Energy Upgrade California®, the Go Green Finance website (www.gogreenfinancing.com) provides educational tools and resources to help consumers find green financing products tailored to individual needs. The website summarizes options and provides customized decision-making assistance. Examples of programs include the California Hub for Energy Efficiency Financing (CHEEF) Participating Loan Products, PACE programs, SMUD and PG&E financing, and other secured and unsecured loan options.
Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Programs
PACE programs offer an alternative means to finance energy, water, and seismic improvements to existing property. Typically, property owners can access property-secured financing with no out-of-pocket costs. Financing is repaid via the property owner’s tax bill over a period of time. Eligible improvements generally include those that are permanently affixed to the property and save energy or water, or produce renewable energy. For example, projects may include:
- Attic insulation; replacement of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment;
- Solar photovoltaic systems;
- Electric vehicle charging infrastructure; and
- Low-flow toilets or other water conservation improvements.
The City of Sacramento has authorized four PACE providers to offer financing to properties in city limits. Each provider has one or more PACE programs, with potential for unique terms and requirements under each program. PACE programs are identified on the Go Green Finance website (www.gogreenfinancing.com) with authorized PACE providers as follows:
On December 6, 2016, the Sacramento City Council adopted a PACE policy. This policy establishes minimum standards and guidance for all PACE programs within city limits. The intent of the policy is to foster consumer protections and responsible lending practices. PACE policy materials are available online:
What if I Don’t Own My Property?
Residents and businesses can still access renewable electricity without the responsibilities and costs of system ownership. SMUD offers voluntary community solar and green energy programs available to all customers, including renters, tenants, and property owners. Participation provides you a renewable energy credit on your bill, for clean power produced at a local solar farm or other offsite renewable energy facility.
For those completing property improvements onsite, rebates and financial incentives may be available for energy and water improvements. For those interested, the City recommends identifying any available incentives or rebates first before securing additional financing. Tools are also available online for consumers considering options for solar. Several resources are identified below:
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