Property Assessed Clean Energy Alberta (Complete Guide 2018)

Note: This page is anticipatory, PACE will not come into full effect until 2019.

Alberta has officially passed an Act to Enable Clean Energy Improvements which enables Alberta homeowners access an innovative financing program called Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE). PACE allows you to upgrade or install home energy upgrades with $0 down and to repay your balance alongside your annual property tax bill.

This page gives a complete overview of the Alberta PACE program. Read from top to bottom, or select your preferred section by clicking on it below:

How It Works

The Alberta PACE program is a voluntary financing option that allows you to cover the entire upfront cost of your home energy upgrade with a $0 down, long amortization period (expected to be up to 30 years), low interest (expected to be between 2% and 4%) ‘loan’*. Repayments will be billed (see Repayments Section for details) alongside your property tax bill.

This type of financing is called ‘Property Assessed Clean Energy’ (PACE) because the clean energy loan is attached to your property, not you.

Alberta PACE can be used to finance:

  • Solar Power Systems
  • Insulation, Window, and Door Upgrades
  • High-Efficiency Heating and Cooling System Upgrades

*Although the Alberta PACE financing is not technically administered as a loan, but rather as a ‘Clean Energy Improvement Tax’, conceptually it is very similar – you must repay the balance used to finance your project, plus any accrued interest. We will continue to use the word loan in this guide for simplicity sake.

Eligibility

It should first be noted that the Alberta PACE program is completely voluntary, not just for you – but also for your municipality. This means that appropriate local bylaws must be written before you can access PACE in your area. Remember, other financing options do exist.

It’s expected that you will need to own between 10% and 15% equity in your home in order to qualify for the program, that you will need to be in good standing on your property tax (no late payments in the past 3 years), and that you will need to be in good standing on your mortgage payments (no more than one late payment in the past year).

Note that the program is open to all residential, commercial, and agricultural properties (except for designated industrial properties).

Repayments

Upon receiving your PACE financing, you will then be billed on an annual basis along with your property tax bill. The payments will appear as a separate charge, likely titled a ‘Clean Energy Improvement Tax’.

You will be able to make payments in the same way that you currently pay for your property tax.

You will likely have the option to repay the entire balance in full and without penalty.

Benefits

The main benefit of the Alberta PACE program is that it allows you to overcome the main hurdle for most people interested in solar power: the upfront costs. And instead, spreads that cost over a long term period on a low interest loan (expected to be between 2% and 4%).

The other major benefit is that the financing is attached to your property, not to you. This means that if you sell your home, repaying the PACE financing will then be the obligation of the new property owners.

(This also means that the long term savings potential of your system will lie with them too)

Program Administration

In June 2018, An Act to Enable Clean Energy Improvements was passed in the province of Alberta that legalizes the PACE financing option. It’s expected that the act will come into force in early 2019 and that municipalities will begin enabling PACE to property owners by mid to late 2019.

It is anticipated that Energy Efficiency Alberta will be the program administrator of the Alberta PACE program while the Alberta Climate Change Office will assist in the initial program design.

According to PACEAlberta, funding for the program will come primarily from private sector investments, not taxpayer’s money.

Note that Energy Efficiency Alberta is currently offering support to any municipalities looking to adopt PACE financing.

Getting Started

Getting started with PACE Alberta is easy.

  1. Educate yourself about solar power
  2. Decide that you’re ready to go solar and request an estimate
  3. Apply for PACE financing (aks your installer for assistance) if that is your preferred financing option

Alberta Solar Power Rankings

Alberta Solar Power

We’ve ranked Alberta as being the 6th best province in the country for solar power. Not just because of the PACE program (actually, this launched after our ranking process in January), but also because of their 30% Alberta Municipal Solar Rebate Program, good net metering policies, and fantastic local installers.

All interested home and business owners and highly encouraged to read our Complete Solar Power Guide For Alberta (Updated 2018).


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