Before last week, a homeowner who wanted a new roof would have had to pay for it all at once or take out a loan.
But now that Wilton Manors has opted into Broward County’s Property Assessed Clean Energy [PACE] program, home and business owners can make expensive energy-related repairs and spread out the cost.
The program, approved July 12 by commissioners, allows property owners to install energy efficient air conditioning units, cool roofs, windows, insulation, solar panels, solar water heaters, wind turbines and other energy-related improvements. Much like a loan, borrowers can pay back the cost over a long period of time. Property owners who use the program pay for their improvements through an assessment on their annual property tax bill.
“I hope people will take advantage of this,” said Commissioner Tom Green. In May, Vice Mayor Scott Newton said he brought up PACE as a way to make it easier for homeowners to make improvements to their property which, in turn, would benefit the city.
Although approved by the county and multiple cities in Broward, PACE does not involve any government funding or risk. The financing for improvements is provided by private companies. Renew Financial and Ygrene have been approved by Broward to administer the program. If a borrower defaults on the loan and fails to pay the tax, the lender can get their money back when the building is sold.
The Broward County Commission approved its program on June 14.
To qualify for PACE, improvements must be permitted and installed by licensed contractors and must meet all relevant federal, state, and local energy, wind and building code standards. Other Broward cities participating in PACE are Pompano Beach, Oakland Park, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Lighthouse Point, North Lauderdale, Plantation, Copper City, Davie, Coconut Creek and Tamarac.