Pleasant Hill Patch: Pleasant Hill Expected To Select CaliforniaFIRST for Property Assessed Clean Energy Program

January 26, 2015

Pleasant Hill homeowners soon should be able to make energy efficiency, renewable energy and water efficiency improvements to their properties through the CaliforniaFIRST program, which the City Council plans to adopt tonight during its meeting.

CaliforniaFIRST is a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program for residential and commercial properties, and has been incorporated by nearly 200 cities and counties across California.

Property owners in Pleasant Hill will be able to take advantage of the affordable and easy process to finance energy efficient and water conservation upgrades.

CaliforniaFIRST’s PACE financing program has now been implemented in all nine Bay Area counties – Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma.

CaliforniaFIRST makes energy and water efficiency projects more affordable and accessible for California homeowners by providing project financing that is then paid back as a line item on their tax assessments.

The program allows homeowners to choose a participating contractor and install an array of custom-tailored clean energy and water efficiency projects.

“We wanted to do something for the environment and make our home more comfortable,” said Glen Barnhill, San Mateo County homeowner who replaced floor furnaces with an efficient central heating system and insulation.

“We used CaliforniaFIRST for our upgrade and the process was quick and simple.”

CaliforniaFIRST solves many of the financial hurdles facing property owners wanting to install energy and water improvements. Because payments are collected on the property tax bill, the obligation is assumed by a new owner when the property is sold.

Program participation is based on the property value, the property owner’s equity and tax payment history.

Personal credit is not a consideration.

San Francisco’s current Commercial PACE program, GreenFinanceSF was designed and launched by Renewable Funding, the company that administers CaliforniaFIRST.

Cisco DeVries, Renewable Funding’s co-founder and CEO, created the first PACE program in 2008 in Berkeley.

Originally published in the Pleasant Hill Patch.