American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)
Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing allows property owners to borrow money to pay for energy improvements. The amount borrowed is repaid via a special assessment on the property over a period of years. Maine has authorized local governments to establish such programs. Not all local governments in Maine will choose to offer PACE financing, check the program to see if your municipality has begun offering the program (over 160 locations are participating, Efficiency Maine maintains an up to date list). If your town is not participating, contact your community leaders directly.
The following eligibility requirements apply:
- Homeowners must have a debt-to-income ratio of 45% or less
- Property taxes and sewer charges must be up to date
- The property is not subject to a reverse mortgage
- The property may not have any outstanding notice of default, foreclosure, or delinquency on the mortgage
- The homeowner must have at least as much equity in the home as the amount of PACE loan
To participate, the homeowner must select a participating energy advisor and receive an energy audit. The home energy audit must be conducted to determine the recommended improvements which may include energy-efficiency meaures and renewable-energy systems. Energy-efficiency measures generally must meet or exceed U.S. EPA and Energy Star standards, or other standards approved by Efficiency Maine Trust, or weatherization improvements that are approved by the Trust. Improvements that are recommended by the Energy Audit may be authorized. Renewable-energy systems and electrical-thermal storage systems must meet standards approved by the Trust.
Note that certain improvements may be eligible for rebates as well. After the energy audit, the homeowner receives pre-approval for the PACE loan by submitting an application online and selects a contractor from a registered vendor list.