News Article
August 29, 2013

Setting the PACE: An Analysis of Early PACE Program Design

PACEProperty Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing is a promising tool to help drive investment in building energy efficiency.  We analyze what PACE programs are doing to attempt to maximize their appeal to building owners and financiers.


Nascent PACE programs differ slightly in program design features.  The issue brief ‘Setting the PACE’ by the Institute for Building Efficiency, PACENow and the Urban Land Institute analyzes some of the similarities and differences in PACE program design in San Francisco and Sonoma County, Calif.; Toledo, Ohio; and Washington, D.C.  PACE programs each have their own approaches to:

  • eligible technologies and asset classes

  • transaction sizes

  • energy savings requirements

  • project approval processes

  • market outreach


Program administrators and industry leaders alike agree that PACE may help align incentives and spur action that helps unlock a potential $280 billion investment opportunity. PACE is designed to allow:

  • Zero up-front cash investment

  • Immediate positive cash flow

  • Long-term financing (up to 20 years)

  • PACE assessment stays with the property upon sale

  • Ability to pass payments through to tenants

  • Low interest rates

  • Higher rents and greater long-term property value because of energy efficiency

  • Preservation of borrowing capacity through off-balance–sheet financing

Read the Issue Brief: Setting the PACE: Financing Commercial Retrofits >>


Introducing Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing (PACE) >>

Lender Consent Article>>



Originally published February 2013, Updated August 2013