Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans allow property owners to finance clean energy improvements to their properties generally secured by property liens senior to mortgages through tax assessments. Moody’s recently released a special comment expressing some concerns and not-so-subtle hints that it thinks that lenders and securitizers should take PACE programs seriously.
Commercial PACE programs are currently small, but growing. PACE loans are generally structured as a tax lien and allow property owners to finance (mainly) clean energy property improvements such as the addition of solar panels to a building over a period of up to twenty years. As of September 2014 more than 260 commercial PACE projects totaling $83 million have been financed nationally. The largest PACE loan was for $7 million on the Los Angeles Hilton Hotel. Another $300 million worth of project applications are pending.