A new report on PACE highlights 2 key barriers to adoption for families in California that support the need for companies, like Pace Avenue, that can properly promote the responsible use of PACE financing in home improvement projects:
- Language barriers prevent a lot of customers in low and moderate income neighborhoods from learning about PACE
- Information about how PACE financing works is not being effectively communicated during the sales process
In November of 2017, the Energy Programs Consortium published a report of Property Assessed Clean Energy’s (PACE) progress in making energy efficient home improvements available to all American homeowners.
As PACE continues to grow in popularity for homeowners, the EPC is working on reviewing PACE regulations so that state and local governments and customers have reliable updated information. The EPC is also working to ensure that all PACE programs and lenders are being as effective and responsive as possible to foster happy and satisfied customers.
In the report, the EPC uses data from the database of PACE households, which was provided by the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (CAEATFA). The data contains 25,327 households that financed with PACE between January 1 and June 30, 2016.
The EPC found that the majority of the PACE households were high-income families making over $75,000 annually. In an effort to understand why other families in underserved neighborhoods were not taking advantage of the PACE program, the EPC conducted a survey with 25 verified PACE participants to elicit their feedback of the program.
One main takeaway from the survey is that customers were not able to completely understand the program because of language barriers. Customers whose primary language is not English found it hard to effectively communicate with PACE companies and their financer. The state addressed these concerns in a bill that was passed by CA Governor Jerry Brown in October (SB 242). The bill required that any materials shown be available in different foreign languages.
The survey participants also said that they had difficulties understanding the program because they felt that they didn’t get enough information about how the financing works. Some of the details about PACE financing are more complicated and homeowners expressed that a lack of detail caused confusion related to making payments. Not even the most affluent customers completely understand how financing works.
These issues arise because financing is one of the hardest things to understand, let alone explain. Contractors who are more focused on getting projects done may not go into explicit detail about how PACE financing works.This is a general problem when it comes to introducing PACE and customers would like to know exactly how the financing operates and how it “works with [their] monthly mortgage” (EPC survey). The problem is, contractors and those selling PACE aren’t professionally trained on how to explain the program, and as a result, they sometimes leave out important details.
One of the great advantages of Pace Avenue is making sure that customers understand PACE to the fullest by our well-trained and educated professionals who provide in-person consultation and customer-support available to all families, regardless of socioeconomic status. Pace Avenue exists to service top-notch support, guide homeowners, answer questions and give information about the PACE program so that homeowners can make well-informed decisions about their next significant home improvement project.
As the energy industry is evolving, Pace Avenue is here to help make this incredible financing vehicle accessible and easy to everyone.