Sonoma County PACE Program
Congratulations, Sonoma County residents! You live in a city that supports property tax solar financing. It also has an active 1BOG Solar Group Purchase Campaign
How does Sonoma County’s municipal solar financing program work?
The Sonoma County Energy Independence Program (SCEIP) is providing $100 million dollars in loans for homeowners to use for solar panels and other energy efficient equipment (home heating, cooling, insulation, improved ductwork, etc.) through property tax bills. This is the largest municipal financing package of its kind.
The loans carry a 7% interest rate and are paid through property taxes. The repayment term for assessment amounts of $2,500-$5,000 are 5 or 10 years. For assessments over $5,000, the available terms are 10 or 20 years. Use SCEIP’s payment calculator to estimate the annual cost of the assessment that will be added to the property tax bill.
The standard program provides funding of $2,500-$60,000 per project. Payments are issued on the 1st of the month following final inspection sign-off, and a title check (including fee payment) is required. The comprehensive description of the program terms can be found here.
That sounds great! How is Sonoma County able to do this?
This financing is from the County of Sonoma and the Sonoma Water Agency. Sonoma is the first county to take advantage of the California Assembly Bill 811 which authorizes municipalities to fund energy improvement projects on private property.
Is the solar loan program available now?
The program was formally launched in March of 2009 and has begun accepting applications. Before applying, SCEIP recommends conducting an energy audit on your home. 1BOG will be launching a campaign in Sonoma County soon, so skip a step and sign up with 1BOG before applying for municipal financing. The SCEIP application can be found here.
What if I move?
The loans carry a low interest rate and stay with the house—so if you move, the next tenant continues to pay for the loan through property taxes, and you’re not stuck with the bill.
Do you have more info on the status of this municipal solar and energy efficiency financing program? Let us know and we will update this page with your tips.