San Francisco Selects CaliforniaFIRST for Newly Approved Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program

May 12, 2015

CaliforniaFIRST program rapidly expanding throughout California, allowing homeowners to make important energy and water upgrades to their properties and pay them back through their property taxes

OAKLAND, Calif. May 12, 2015 – San Francisco homeowners will now be able to make energy efficiency, renewable energy and water efficiency improvements to their properties through the CaliforniaFIRST program, which was adopted recently by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. CaliforniaFIRST is a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program for residential and commercial properties and has been incorporated by more than 200 local governments across California. Property owners in San Francisco can now take advantage of this affordable and easy process to finance their energy and water upgrade projects.

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 annual property tax bill. This type of financing is unique in that it is property-based, not based on FICO score, debt-to-income ratios, or income. If there is at least 10% equity in the property, the homeowner can simply apply online at or by phone at 844-589-7953 and find out within minutes, how much they could qualify for and get approved that same day.

CaliforniaFIRST solves many of the financial hurdles facing property owners who want to make these types of home improvement projects but who may not have the cash or access to affordable financing through conventional channels.. Through this program, homeowners can finance the purchase and installation of double-paned windows, a cool performance roof, better insulation, solar panels, or drought-tolerant landscaping), with repayment through their property tax bill over terms as long as 25 years.

The CaliforniaFIRST program provides homeowners with a list of program-certified contractors serving their community, taking a lot of the worry and hassle out of finding a registered, reliable company to work with.

CaliforniaFIRST is available to homeowners and all other non-public sector building owners in almost every local government jurisdiction in the San Francisco Bay Area. The program is available to approximately 1.145 million of the 1.324 million single-family owner-occupied households in the nine Bay Area counties (87% coverage), with many of the remaining jurisdictions considering joining the CaliforniaFIRST program over the next two months.

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

“We are working with cities and counties all over the state to help local governments meet both their climate action and local economic development goals by providing this important program to their constituents,” said DeVries. “And homeowners win by making crucial upgrades to their properties that increase their property values and home comfort, while reducing their utility bills.”

San Francisco Supervisor Mark Farrell sponsored the legislation in support of the CaliforniaFIRST program. “We are pleased to offer San Francisco homeowners an innovative way to finance energy and water-saving improvements on their homes. The CaliforniaFIRST program will help homeowners make important energy and water-saving improvements – that they can repay on their property taxes annually. With CaliforniaFIRST, homeowners can save money on their utility bills — and help San Francisco and the entire State of California reduce its impact on climate change.”

“CaliforniaFIRST financing makes it possible for San Franciscans to own their solar system without making an upfront payment,” said Jeanine Cotter, CEO of San Francisco-based Luminalt Solar Energy Solutions. “Saving money and energy and increasing the value of their homes is a great benefit for our customers, and the process is quick and easy for contractors and for homeowners.”

About CaliforniaFIRST

The CaliforniaFIRST Program is a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program for residential and commercial properties. Administered by Renewable Funding, a national clean energy finance company, CaliforniaFIRST allows property owners to finance the installation of energy and water improvements on homes or businesses through the issuance of a municipal bond, which can then be paid back as a line item on their property tax bill. CaliforniaFIRST financing doesn’t rely on a credit score and does not require any money down, opening the program to a wide range of Californians. CaliforniaFIRST is a program of the California Statewide Communities Development Authority (CSCDA), which is sponsored by the League of California Cities and the California State Association of Counties.  CSCDA selected Renewable Funding to administer the CaliforniaFIRST program. For more For the latest news from CaliforniaFIRST: To hear directly from CaliforniaFIRST customers: