Solar Lender Expanding to SoCal

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Santa Rosa-based lender Ygrene is trying to expand its footprint in the San Diego-area market for green home-improvement loans, taking on three well-established providers.

Ygrene specializes in so-called PACE financing — short for property assessed clean energy — that is paid back through property tax assessments and can be passed on to the next property owner. Property-assessed loans can be spent on a host of energy- and water-conservation upgrades to homes and businesses.

Ygrene is up and running within Chula Vista, where it had 50 projects worth $4.5 million completed or under construction at the end of 2014, but hit a roadblock as it attempted to expand into other jurisdictions, explained Crystal Crawford, a former Del Mar council member and Ygrene’s regional director for Southern California.

She says Ygrene is the only PACE lender in the state offering 30 year solar loans to homeowners. The loan carries an interest rate of 8.49 percent. It also offers loans to businesses.

Ygrene’s interest rate on a five-year loan is 5.99 percent; a 20-year loan is 8.25 percent.

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