PACE Program: How To Get Started

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Satish Ravindran

Mechanical Engineer

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, an innovative tool that enables property owners to make investments in water and energy efficiency, has been gaining momentum across the country. Through the PACE program, financing is secured by a special property tax assessment, all without incurring upfront costs. PACE has acted as an economic development tool to improve buildings, creating jobs, reducing energy consumption and grid demand, and enhancing water conservation.

2,000 PACE projects developed since 2009, and over $1.1 billion invested

Image source: PACE Nation


How PACE Works

State lawmakers enable municipalities and local governments to work with private sector lenders and property owners to finance qualified improvements. A county or municipality then establishes a PACE district and property owners who require financing for their projects can select contractors and lenders to fund up to 100% of the project costs.

Image source: Texas PACE Authority

PACE Successes in Texas

In Texas, the Texas PACE Authority is a non-profit facilitating PACE projects for commercial, industrial and multi-family properties with five or more dwelling units. Through the PACE program, owners can access financing for upgrades for HVAC replacement, light fixture replacements, renewables and energy storage (including solar, wind, geothermal), high-efficiency windows or doors, automated energy control systems, insulation, caulking, weather-stripping or air sealing, water use efficiency improvements, energy- or water-efficient manufacturing processes and/or equipment, solar hot water, irrigation systems, gray water reuse, rainwater collection system, etc.

The total investments in PACE in the state of Texas to date is $105 million. A total of 27 projects have been funded over 45 Texas PACE districts since the program inception. The map below shows PACE districts within Texas as of April 2020, which shows the newest Texas PACE district: San Antonio!

Image credit: Texas PACE Authority


PACE Programs Nationally

There are currently 20 states plus the District of Columbia implementing their versions of the PACE program. Three states (California, Florida and Missouri) have implemented and funded residential PACE projects. Industry champions such as Arkansas Advanced Energy Equity Program, Clean Energy Atlanta and Ygrene are actively using PACE to advance the water and energy savings in their communities. In addition, the lawmakers of New Mexico, Oklahoma and North Carolina have enabled PACE to be used in their states.

Image source: PACE Nation


For more information about the PACE program, see presentation below:

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Satish Ravindran, PE, PMP, CEM, LEED AP, is a Mechanical Engineer in Austin.