Program CaliforniaFIRST
Category Financial Incentive
Implementing sector State
Last Update
State California
Administrator Renewable Funding
Technologies Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Solar Photovoltaics
Sectors Residential

Note:  In 2010, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which has authority over mortgage underwriters Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, directed these enterprises against purchasing mortgages of homes with a PACE lien due to its senior status above a mortgage. Most residential PACE activity subsided following this directive; however, some residential PACE programs are now operating with loan loss reserve funds, appropriate disclosures, or other protections meant to address FHFA's concerns. Commercial PACE programs were not directly affected by FHFA’s actions, as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not underwrite commercial mortgages. Visit PACENation for more information about PACE financing and a comprehensive list of all PACE programs across the country.

The CaliforniaFIRST Program is a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program for residential properties. PACE allow property owners to finance the installation of energy and water improvements on their homes and to pay the amount back through their property taxes. CaliforniaFIRST is available to residential customers in participating counties. Check here to find a pace community near you.

State law prohibits PACE program administrator from approving an assessment contract unless the program administrator determines the property owner has a reasonable ability to pay the annual payment obligations for the PACE assessment. S.B. 645 broadens PACE financing opportunities by allowing financing in high risk fire hazard zones for wildfire safety improvements.

More information and a complete list of the currently approved energy and water efficiency technologies are available at the web site above.

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