Originally published on the ECOreport.
There are good reasons for the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) to catch on. Homeowners take out PACE loans at a low rate of interest, with no money down, and pay them back through their property taxes. This already sounds good, but a Florida PACE project did not cost the owner anything.
PACE Project Did Not Cost The Owner Anything
To put it another way, the savings Rasha Cameau generated as a result of her reduced electricity consumption and a reduction in her insurance rate were equal to the cost of her new roof, doors, impact windows, and energy efficient AC, etc.
It would be interesting to find out how many PACE customers have immediate returns like this!
Cameau lives in the village of Miami Shores, where the potential hurricane season stretches from June 1 until November 30.
“That’s one of the reasons the cost of insurance is high in South Florida. We’ve been lucky for the past few years that no hurricanes have come our way, but usually we are prepared for major storms after June first” she said.
Properties have been submerged under water. The winds can be strong enough to take off rooms and demolish walls.
The roof and windows of Cameau’s house were damaged during hurricane Wilma which, prior to 2015, was the most intense cyclone of historical record in the Western hemisphere.
So why would anyone want to live there?
“The weather: it’s beautiful, sunny, we have the beach around us. Who wouldn’t want to live here? It’s snowing in Colorado as we speak and it is 79 degrees (Fahrenheit) in my window right now, ” she responded.
What She Did Through PACE
Last year, Cameau’s twenty-year-old roof started leaking.
“The roofer told us it pretty much had to be replaced. We didn’t have $18,000 sitting around. We couldn’t just keep patching it up. The insurance company said if you don’t fix your insurance is useless and they charge you more money. So I looked into the Ygrene PACE program and first of all applied to get the roof replaced, but going through the eligible improvements, we were able to get the impact windows and doors done and a new energy efficient AC. We even put a solar tube in the roof so we could have natural light in our living room, so we barely have lights on inside the house,” she said.
One of the direct consequences of those improvements was that her monthly electric bill dropped from $300 to about $185.
An even bigger surprise came when Cameau renewed her property insurance. As a result of all the improvements, the rate was reduced $3,700 a year.
Even more important, she and her husband are enjoying their home more. It seems bigger, more full of light and easier to do things in.
Among the tangible evidences, Cameau said, “Since we’ve made these improvements, my husband is having barbecues on a regular basis.”
All photos courtesy Rasha Comeau