The county has spent six years developing the “property assessed clean energy” or PACE program, first extending it to commercial properties and now to homeowners.
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One obstacle was the Federal Housing Finance Administration, which did not want federally backed loans to take a back seat to energy-efficiency programs in terms of repayment priority for mortgages.
The state Legislature last year approved a bill establishing a loan risk mitigation fund to take on the risk instead.
The fund provides $10 million to pay for any outstanding debts for solar upgrades to homes that carry Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loans, assuring mortgage lenders will be compensated if homeowners default.
Supervisor Dave Roberts, who along with Jacob has been pushing for the residential solar program, said he recently visited a home with rooftop solar and believes it will become increasingly commonplace.
Similar residential rooftop financing programs are available in Oceanside, Carlsbad, Vista, San Marcos, Lemon Grove and Solana Beach. If the home is sold, the solar system and any remaining tax liability transfer to the purchaser.
Information on the three approved county vendors can be found at heroprogram.com; figtreefinancing.com and californiafirst.org.
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