Blog Post: PACE: Moving California Communities toward Lasting Resiliency
January 9, 2019
Last week, the California Economic Summit published its 2019 Roadmap to Shared Prosperity, highlighting the importance of building more resilient, sustainable communities and calling for strong public-private partnerships to address the challenges of climate change and increasingly frequent and devastating natural disasters. Ygrene, the nation’s leading PACE provider, sponsored the California Economic Summit and participated in the Resiliency in Every Community Working Group Session that helped shape the 2019 Roadmap.
As the 2019 Roadmap lays out: “Attracting private capital and seizing opportunities for high-wage growth will require public-private partnerships that create value for investors, communities, and regions.” The cornerstone of the PACE program is providing low-interest, long-term private financing for energy and resiliency improvements that are more affordable and accessible than other types of home improvement financing options, like costly credit cards and unsecured financing products. PACE’s growth and success has resulted in thousands of jobs created, significant energy savings and reductions in carbon emissions, and meaningful economic stimulus in communities across California.
PACE can also play a central role in achieving the 2019 Roadmap’s goal of helping “residents and businesses get back on their feet after a disaster” and working to “move all communities toward lasting resiliency.” In addition to seismic and energy efficiency upgrades, PACE helps to increase fire resiliency, addressing the increasingly frequent and devastating challenges of natural disasters and ensuring that property owners can do their part to protect and safeguard their homes from the next natural disaster. The Wildfire Safety Act, which was recently passed in California, dramatically increases access for Californians to utilize PACE financing for fire preparedness. Now, more California homeowners can upgrade their properties through PACE financing to make sure their homes are equipped with fire-resistant designs and materials.
Looking ahead, the 2019 Roadmap calls for developing “resiliency models" and set the 2019 priority action of creating “working models of intergovernmental agreements, state participation, and the involvement of the private sector.” At a time when community-wide participation is necessary to achieve our climate goals and prepare for destructive wildfires and other natural disasters, Ygrene and PACE will do just that, helping Californians take advantage of private financing to make critical investments in their own properties while serving the public good by helping to build more resilient communities up and down the state.