New Consumer Protections and a Longstanding Commitment to our Customers

April 13, 2018

Since Renew Financial’s founding in 2008, building strong industry standards for PACE financing has been at the heart of what we do every day. We take great pride in being a private company with a public-service mission.

I invented the PACE financing model in 2007 when I was chief of staff to the mayor of a small city. The problem we were trying to solve has existed for decades. It’s simply not right for homeowners to be unable to make critical safety and energy upgrades to their homes unless they can pay all the money upfront. PACE solves that problem.

Over the past ten years, Renew Financial has led the PACE industry in working with state, local and federal policymakers to establish industrywide consumer protections. As the industry has grown, we’ve prided ourselves on setting the standard for integrity and quality.  

Throughout 2017, we worked together with low-income advocates, small business groups, real estate professionals and environmental organizations to ensure passage of the most comprehensive PACE financing legislation in history. This legislation was signed by Governor Jerry Brown in October 2017 and went into effect in 2018.

The law now empowers homeowners by providing:

  • A three-day right to cancel their PACE financing agreement
  • Live and recorded confirmation calls to explain the terms of financing
  • New standards on contractor marketing to thwart misleading sales tactics
  • Authority for the California Department of Business Oversight (DBO) to oversee the PACE industry
  • And uniform income verification requirements and underwriting based on the property owner’s ability to pay

Recent analysis by Morningstar points out that these comprehensive consumer protections enacted in California could very well serve as a model for other states. And new independent research by the rating agency DBRS finds that, “PACE delinquency metrics are lower than general aggregate property tax and single-family residential-only property tax delinquency levels.” The report notes that PACE has “healthier performance relative to all residential tax payors.”

By almost every measure, PACE has proven to be the most successful energy and resilience financing tool in history. It’s empowered more than 200,000 American homeowners to make energy efficiency, storm hardening and other critical energy and safety upgrades. Earlier this month, Berkeley National Lab released a new report showing that PACE financing increased residential solar PV installations by as much as 12% across California.

PACE’s positive impact on local communities and the environment cannot be overlooked. PACE has created more than 40,000 jobs and injected billions in private investments into local economies. Collectively, homeowners will save $1 billion on their utility bills during the lifetime of their projects, and in California where water scarcity is a serious problem, PACE projects will help save more than 10 billion gallons of water.

At Renew Financial, we are dedicated to serving our customers and proud of our track record offering PACE financing with strong consumer protections. Our goal is simple: to empower American homeowners and create a more resilient country for all of us – one home at a time.