LA City Council Approves PACE Financing to Improve Earthquake Safety, Energy Efficiency and Water Conservation
LOS ANGELES – The City Council today approved one of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s key resiliency and sustainability initiatives, authorizing three Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) providers to provide easy to access financing for seismic retrofits, energy efficiency projects, renewable energy installations, and water conservation – including turf removal.
PACE financing allows property owners to access long-term financing that they pay back through their property taxes. This structure simplifies lending procedures and gives property owners access to a network of pre-qualified contractors whose work quality is checked by the lender. PACE providers have indicated they are ready to mobilize hundreds of millions of dollars to assist property owners in lowering the utility bills and preparing their buildings to withstand earthquakes.
“I’m very pleased that the City Council has passed a critical tool that will help Los Angeles implement my earthquake and sustainability plans,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “With this lending tool, property owners wil have access to financing for energy efficiency, water conservation, renewable energy and seismic retrofits will help spur economic growth while increasing the long-term resiliency of the City’s building stock.”
This is the second significant initiative of Mayor Garcetti’s earthquake plan that has been approved by the City Council. Last month, the Council approved an ordinance that will prevent cell towers from collapsing so LA residents can communicate and our businesses can function after an earthquake.
Combined with a recently authorized LA County Program that the City of Los Angeles participates in, property owners now have access to four PACE financing providers serving the residential, multifamily and commercial markets. Today’s council action also instructs the CAO to consider bringing additional providers into the market in the coming months.
“The PACE program will make buildings safer through low-cost financing,” said Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, who authored the Council motion. “As an Assemblymember, I championed the PACE program as an innovative financing mechanism for critical energy and water upgrades. Last year, as a Councilmember, I made sure the City was taking advantage of those programs, and now it’s time for the City to include earthquake retrofits for soft-first story buildings to help property owners absorb costs and make their buildings safer.”
“I am happy to be support PACE as a tool that will help the City implement the Mayor’s vision outlined in his Resiliency Plan,” said Councilmember Gil Cedillo. “PACE financing helps create jobs, promote economic development, and protects our City. The question is not ‘if’ ‘the big one will hit Los Angeles, but ‘when’. As Chair of Housing, I continue to work with all interested stakeholders to implement thought out policy that mandates seismic retrofits that will protect the City, tenants, and owners alike.”