Innovative Form of Financing Now Available in La Puente via Home Run Financing; Approval Based on Home Equity, Payments Made Through Property Taxes; Model Shown to Create Sustainable Jobs in the Local Clean Energy Sector
LOS ANGELES – Homeowners in the City of La Puente, in Los Angeles County, can now access Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) home improvement financing through industry leader Home Run Financing (HRF), giving residents new access to this innovative mechanism to fund renewable energy, and energy and water efficiency upgrades, as well as earthquake resiliency. La Puente joins more than 340 other cities and towns in California, including more than 30 in LA County, in making PACE Funding available to homeowners. La Puente is the third city in Los Angeles County to approve PACE in 2023, following similar unanimous approvals by the Cities of Bell and Paramount.
Approval for PACE financing in California is based on homeowners’ home equity and their ability to repay, rather than their credit score; requires no money down to start a project; and enables customers to make payments through their property taxes. This makes financing available for many more homeowners for projects including HVAC, solar, energy efficient roofing and insulation, and water efficiency, as well as fire-resistant roofing and seismic (earthquake) resiliency.
“Making PACE available in La Puente is really going to help our homeowners who want to save money on their energy and water bills,” said Mayor Pro Tem Valerie Munoz. “It’s great to be able to give people financing options so they can choose the one that’s the best fit. PACE is also going to help us, as a city, conserve water and reach our climate goals.”
PACE Financing is available only through registered and trained contractors. State legislation and regulation by the state Department of Financing Protection and Innovation (DFPI) provides robust consumer protections for homeowners.
“PACE is an innovate financing mechanism that helps communities upgrade their housing stock to help them be more energy efficient, save water during the drought, and be more resilient in the face of wildfires and earthquakes, while creating good local jobs in the clean energy sector,” said Robert Giles, CEO of Home Run Financing. “And because this financing model provides access to capital for underbanked, underfinanced communities, it is helping to expand access to money-saving home renovations to communities across California.”
Despite the recent rains, drought remains a perennial and deepening problem in Southern California, so more and more homeowners are looking for additional ways to fund home upgrades to save water. California homeowners are also looking for ways to reduce utility bills in the face of rising energy costs, both by installing renewable energy systems like solar panels, and by installing more efficient (less leaky) windows and doors and roofs. PACE Financing is specifically designed to be used for such energy saving projects.
The PACE financing model has evolved significantly over the last decade. It now provides the strongest consumer protections of any home improvement financing product, with homeowner identity verification measures; recorded confirmation of terms calls conducted in English or Spanish to ensure the homeowner understands the financing; a further recorded call in English or Spanish to verify the project is complete before the contractor gets paid; third-party inspection of completed projects; rigorous contractor oversight and training; and additional protections for the elderly and low-income homeowners, among several other stringent consumer protection measures.
More than 15 million people in California – almost 40 percent of the population – are Hispanic/Latino, and Spanish is the primary language for many of these people. HRF is committed to working with Spanish-speaking homeowners and contractors. All materials are available in Spanish, from the website and homeowner contracts to the contractor portal and other contractor materials. Contractors have access to Spanish-language onboarding and training sessions, and there are bilingual staff in California to partner with contractors on an ongoing basis. HRF’s customer service call center is staffed with more than 60 bilingual employees.
In the six years Home Run Financing (previously PACE Funding Group) has been operating in California, the company has provided almost $416 million in PACE financing for 14,000 home improvement projects across the state. These projects have set in place greenhouse gas reductions, over the lifetime of the upgrades, of 101,400 metric tons, equivalent to taking almost 22,000 cars off the road for a year or powering almost 13,000 homes for a year. The water efficiency upgrades have set in place the conservation of 56.4 million gallons of water, equivalent to filling 2,800 backyard pools or taking 2.8 million five-minute showers. HRF-financed projects have created more than 3,700 good-paying jobs across the state.