PACE Program Availability in the United States. Source: PACENation
According to Gabrielson,
any successful expansion of
residential PACE in the U.S. in
years to come will lie in proving its worth in the market.
“Stakeholders need to be
collecting data and analyzing data — it is either going
to support our claims or it’s
not,” he said, adding that the
theory is that PACE households should be healthier and
stronger; their homes should
be more valuable; and their
ability to make their mortgage and property tax payments should be solid.
“This year will largely
determine whether we’re successful in changing the perception about PACE,” he said.
That goal took a blow
in April when Republican
senators introduced the Protecting Americans from Cred-
it Exploitation (PACE) Act, which requires disclosure for PACE
loans. In an April 5 statement, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) called
PACE loans “a scam.”
“Predatory green-energy lenders are changing state and local
laws to trick seniors into taking out high-interest rate loans for
20 years, along with liens on their homes, for technology that
could be obsolete in a few years,” he said.
Gabrielson issued a statement in response to the bill, say-
ing “PACE supporters are deeply concerned by the incendiary
attacks leveled against this innovative and successful policy…
from some on Capitol Hill.” He said that the PACE industry sup-
ports strong consumer protections at the federal level to safe-
guard homeowners, but that the legislation introduced in Con-
gress “is a thinly disguised effort to kill PACE.”
Gabrielson told Renewable Energy World that the future for
commercial PACE programs is more positive.
“Commercial PACE is on much more stable and solid ground
because in the commercial realm existing mortgage lenders give
their consent to projects,” Gabrielson said. “That’s an important
option that’s given to existing mortgage lenders. I see over the
next fve years a steady, slowly accelerating expansion in commercial PACE.”