On May 13, 2015, the Agoura Hills City Council approved Resolution No. 15-1782 consenting to include properties within the incorporated area of Agoura Hills in the Los Angeles County Energy Program to finance renewable energy sources and energy and water efficiency improvements. The program provides property owners two County approved administrators for the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing Programs to assist with these improvements. This is not a City administered program, but the City's governing body approved participation in the program as it provides benefits to residential property owners.
The Los Angeles County Residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program enables homeowners to install energy efficiency, renewable energy and water-saving improvements to their properties. Under the PACE program, homeowners may work with one of two County-approved program administrators, 1) CaliforniaFIRST and 2) HERO, to finance these home improvements.
A unique financing tool, PACE allows LA County to issue a bond to a lender, which secures funding for the installation of energy and water efficiency, and renewable energy projects that are permanently fixed to the property. Homeowners then repay financing annually through an assessment on their property tax bill. PACE financing enhances home values, lowers homeowners’ energy bills, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and creates green jobs.
NOTE: As the program is financed by a levying a contractual assessment against the property and placing a lien on the real property, before completing a program application, you should carefully review any mortgage agreement(s)or other security instrument(s) which affect the property or to which you as the property owner are a party. Entering into an assessment contract without the consent of your existing lender(s) could constitute an event of default under such agreements or security instruments. Defaulting under an existing mortgage agreement or security instrument could have serious consequences to you, which could include the acceleration of the repayment obligations due under such agreement or security instrument.
In addition, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the owner of a significant portion of all home mortgages, stated that they would not purchase home loans with assessments such as those offered by the county of Los Angeles. This may mean that property owners who sell or refinance their property may be required to prepay such assessments at the time they close their sale or refinancing.
WHAT DO I DO TO GET STARTED?
- Go to www.LAPACE.org
Select the Residential Pace Website
- Choose one of the two approved finance administrators:
1) www.heroprogram.com 2) www.californiafirst.org
• Fill out the application and submit to administrator
• Notification of either qualification or disqualification is within a few minutes
• Borrowers will choose from a wide variety of products and approved contractors
• Contractor submits assessment contract with scope of work to chosen administrator for approval
Contractors will still be required to pull necessary building permits, receive applicable Planning Department approval, and apply for City Business License.
Depending on the administrator selected, some programs are promoted by way of approved contractors while the other is promoted from administrator staff.
IS THERE A FREQUENTLY ASK QUESTION SHEET I CAN REVIEW?
IS THERE A LIST OF APPROVED CONTRACTORS?
Each administrator has a list of contractors affiliated with the program. As Los Angeles County is constantly monitoring contractor activity and validating contractors are complying with program requirements, the list is consistently changing. The County of Los Angeles asks residents to check the applicable program administrator website for the most up to date list.
ARE THERE OTHER FEES INCLUDED WITH IN THE PACE PROGRAM?
Yes. In additional to the amount to be finance for the selected improvement, the program does include other program associated costs, such as program and administration management related fees, closing fees, reserve fund deposit, and loss reserve program fees. Some of these fee are one time, while others are annual. The additional fees will be identified in the assessment contract forms participant will eventually sign.
WHO DO I CONTACT FOR PROGRAM QUESTIONS?
CaliforniaFIRST and HERO have customer service contact phone numbers on their respective websites. For general program questions, City Staff is available at (818) 597-7309.