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Clean Power solar panel installations boom with PACE

Published on July 18th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan

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PACE — You Can Help Revive It! (& Why You Should)



solar panel installations boom with PACE

PACE, which stands for Property Assessed Clean Energy, was one of the best things that happened to the U.S… before it got killed (or temporarily maimed) by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2010.

What is PACE & Why is It So Cool?

What is PACE? PACE is a program that helped thousands of homeowners across the nation make energy-efficient retrofits and add solar power systems to their homes through a simple surcharge on their property taxes. In other words, instead of dropping a ton of money on a solar or energy efficiency project right up front or paying extra (but still saving) through a solar lease, PACE allowed people to pay of the cost of their project slowly by increasing their property taxes a bit to cover the costs.

“The concept behind the PACE program is that the energy savings from energy efficiency and clean energy projects would outstrip the costs over time, but that the upfront costs were a barrier to many people in implementing the badly needed changes,” as Shari Shapiro writes over on Cleantechies.

How PACE Got Stabbed in the Chest

Now, as I said above, as PACE was getting wildly popular across the U.S., the federal government killed it. Here’s a quick summary on that from Shapiro:

Several municipalities and states had implemented these programs, and it sounded like such a good idea that $150 million in the ARRA was dedicated to support them.  Unfortunately, in mid-2010 the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates government sponsored mortgage buyers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which regulates national banks stopped the PACE programs in their tracks by refusing to issue mortgages that had a PACE loan in first priority.

See Susan’s story from July 2010 for more on this.

PACE is Coming Back!… Maybe

Well, there has been a big push to revive PACE and now there’s an opportunity for you to help out in that push.

“Bipartisan legislation to restore PACE programs will be introduced in the U.S. Congress House of Representatives on Wednesday, July 20, 2011,” PACE Now reports.

“The Bill is sponsored by Congresswoman Nan Hayworth (R-NY), and Congressmen Dan Lungren (R-CA) and Mike Thompson (D-CA), and a draft can be downloaded here.”

PACE Now had a webinar on the above on July 14th (which you can view via that link — the webinar presentation alone is available here). Basically, though, that all leads into the following, and important call to action:

Take Action to Help Revive PACE

From PACE Now’s website, here’s info on how you can help to get this new legislation moving forward and revive PACE:

It is critically important that you urge your member of Congress in the House of Representatives to support this Bill.  A strategy for introducing a Bill in the Senate is in the works…. right now, support in the House is the key.  Take a moment and call, e-mail, or send a letter to your member of Congress.

Call – E-Mail – Write your House Representative


Use your zip code to send an automated letter here to your representative in the House (see the text here).

Use this  “Save PACE Letter to Congress” here that you can put on your, or your organization’s letterhead. Please remember to send a copy to us at PACENow@gmail.com.

Ask your local government or other organization to pass the attached Resolution Supporting PACE Legislation.  Please send a copy of your adopted Resolution to PACENow@gmail.com.

Find your member of the House  here by entering your zip code in the upper right corner.

Call 202-224-3121 – US Capitol Switchboard – to be transferred to your representative’s office.

The materials linked here will help.


HR Bill ____ We’ll upload the introduced version with the Bill number as soon as it’s available, but don’t wait, just refer to the PACE Protection Act of 2011 introduced by Hayworth, Lungren and Thompson.

Video replay of PACENow’s July 14th Webinar – Call to Action – just give it a minute to load

Talking Points for the Bill one page of useful bullet points

PACE 2 Page Summary a more comprehensive 2 page summary

Making the Case for PACE Legislation longer and more thorough

PACE Econometric Study by ECONorthwest for PACENow

Take action now to help get PACE going again and help get the U.S. back on track on this important topic.

More PACE Stories on CleanTechnica:

  1. Fannie and Freddie Inadvertently Shut Down PACE Solar Funding (and How to Make Them Stakeholders; to End this Impasse)
  2. Solar Industry in 2009: 17,000 More Jobs, 37% Increase in Capacity, Major Drop in Costs
  3. Top 10 “Clean Energy” Topics to Keep an Eye On
  4. Rooftop Solar = 4% of Sonoma County’s Power!

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



  • Anonymous

    It’s no secret that our current power generation sources have to be converted over to more renewable and clean energy sources such as nuclear, geothermal, solar, hydro and wind power. But did you know that by starting at the end of the grid, meaning our homes and businesses, we can make more of a difference than in any other way? I’m not necessarily talking about reducing our standard of living, either. Some may immediately think of having to make reductions in comfort such as setting the thermostat warmer in the summer, and cooler in the winter, taking fewer showers and closing all of the blinds to keep the heat out or the warmth in. While all of these ideas help, they are not the essence of the sustainable measures of which I am speaking. I am talking about the true renewable energy efficiency measures. Clean Energy measures as are indicated in the acronym, “PACE”.

    By installing truly renewable energy efficiency measures such as geothermal air conditioning systems, solar thermal and photovoltaic heating and energy producing products in our homes and businesses, we can reduce peak demand on our energy producing utilities in such a way that the need for additional infrastructure will be offset for a considerable time. Google “PACE Legislation”

    • Anonymous

      good points, of course! thanks for chiming in

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