WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: PACE Consumer Protections Set Standard for Home Improvement Financing
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Last week, Clean PACE, a Florida-based non-profit created to independently review and assess Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) providers for consumer protections, announced Ygrene, a national leader in energy efficiency and resiliency financing in Florida, as the organization's first and only "Clean PACE Certified Partner."
Since launching PACE in Florida in 2013, Ygrene's positive impact has been felt in over 150 Florida communities. Across the state, elected officials, realtors, research institutions and consumer groups are acknowledging that PACE is protecting consumers and improving communities across the state:
Jeff Jones, Chairman, Clean PACE Board of Directors and President-Elect, Naples Area Board of Realtors:
"We are pleased to award the first Clean PACE Certified Partner designation to Ygrene. In addition to meeting audit requirements, we found a culture of customer service and attention to detail that exceeded our expectations. Ygrene provides Floridians with an extremely valuable and reliable option for funding critical home improvements." Read more
Adam Hasner, former Majority Leader of the Florida House of Representatives:
"There will continue to be endless conversation and political debate about how to deal with hurricanes and severe storms. But one thing is certain: Florida leaders must empower our residents by providing options to affordably rebuild and strengthen their homes and businesses. Policymakers can do this by continuing to protect consumer choice and expanding access to PACE financing." Read more
Jay Neal, President, Florida Association for Insurance Reform:
"I applaud Ygrene for driving a program that is critical to how homeowners respond to extreme weather conditions and for adopting policies that protect consumers, hold contractors accountable, and provide communities with confidence to invest in their homes." Read more
Martha Campbell, Manager, Rocky Mountain Institute:
"We applaud the efforts of PACE industry stakeholders in developing robust program guidelines and independent audit processes, and support the industry's goal for these guidelines to be the standard across state and local governments." Read more
Stephanie K. Mah, Director of Strategy and Research, and Phoebe Xu, Senior Vice President, Morningstar:
"…consumer advocacy remains at the forefront for residential PACE, and originators have been taking steps to address concerns. In some instances, originators have allowed modifications to the original terms of a PACE assessment, including changes to the coupon rate, term, and outstanding balance, as well as prepayment penalties."
"Despite increased concerns over consumer protections, Morningstar believes recent initiatives aimed at improving such safeguards will help improve underwriting practices and result in a healthier industry overall for residential PACE." Read more
Kroll Bond Rating Agency:
"Over its ten years of existence, the PACE industry has undergone significant transformation. Greater focus on the consumer's ability to pay and improving consumer protection practices are also viewed as positive developments for the industry." Read more
Kristine Isnardi, Vice Chair, Brevard County Commission:
"[PACE is] giving people the power to assess themselves. I'm excited about this program. I think it's a great idea, and I think it gives more power to the homeowner. I've heard great things about this across the state." Read more
Larry Sinewitz, Executive Vice President of BrandSmart USA – upgraded the HVAC and lighting systems at Palmetto Bay, FL location:
"PACE's credibility and proven track record make it the clear choice to upgrade our stores from both a business and an environmental perspective." Read more
Nick Brousse, Project Manager, U.S. Green Building Council, on Journal of Structured Finance PACE study:
"Although it has been widely understood that energy renovations add value to a property, this study confirms the added value of these projects often exceeds their total financing costs. As many in the green building industry have been proselytizing for years, going green delivers as many economic benefits as it does environmental." Read more
Ygrene's ability to successfully navigate regulatory changes and leverage their strengths while growing their presence across Florida has contributed substantially to their progress. Ygrene is more committed than ever to expanding its PACE program to help more property owners meet their energy efficiency and resiliency goals. The full list of jurisdictions where Ygrene's PACE program has been approved can be found here.