Company: Renovate America
By: Michael Kanellos
The company, which specializes in software and financing for residential PACE (property assessed clean energy) programs, has upgraded 25,000 homes since it began in 2011 and provided approximately $500 million worth of funding through its HERO program, says CEO J.P. McNeill. Approximately 2/3rds of the funds have gone toward energy efficiency upgrades while close to 1/3 of the funding has been dedicated to solar. It has raised over $85 million in equity.
More recently, there has been a surge in interest among homeowners for water services, particularly in Central California.
“Water bills are higher than utility bills” in some areas of central California, he said.
Created in 2008 as a way to speed home and commercial retrofits, PACE programs floundered for years due to opposition from banks and Freddie Mac . Under PACE, cities or counties provide funding for upgrades to qualified homeowners, who then pay back through a supplemental property tax assessment. While financing concept received a significant vote of confidence in 2014 when California Governor Jerry Brown authorized a $10 million mortgage reserve fund that effectively insulated mortgage holders form the impact of any PACE defaults, Renovate’s climb began in 2012 and 2013. It has also largely focused in California, not the Deep South or New England where, respectively, hot summers and cold winters can make the ROI for an energy efficient retrofit more tangible.