TAMPA, Fla., June 29, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Ygrene Energy Fund, the leading provider of PACE (property assessed clean energy) financing in Florida, announced today it has saved Hillsborough County property owners over $25 million on their utility bills and generated $32 million in economic stimulus for the County since 2017, while maintaining the strongest consumer protections in the Florida home improvement financing industry.
Since adopting PACE in 2017, over 730 local homeowners in Hillsborough, and nearly 700 more in the greater Tampa Bay region, have chosen to upgrade their homes through Ygrene's program. The long-term, low fixed-rate financing option has been vital for residents who otherwise would be forced to turn to short-term, high-rate financing at a time they need money the most – during summer months that often bring record-breaking hurricanes and heat waves in Florida.
Additionally, PACE financing has made it easier for Hillsborough homeowners to make smart investments that increase resiliency by hardening their homes in the face of hurricanes and reduce their energy use. Impact resistant roofs, doors and windows, and energy efficient air conditioning systems are the most common measures installed using PACE financing.
Safeguarding consumers also remains a top priority in Hillsborough and in all 168 communities that Ygrene serves in Florida. Specifically, Ygrene has maintained an industry-leading, comprehensive contractor compliance program that consists of company-certified contractor training, regular performance reviews, and verification of licensure and bonding.
Ygrene's standards for contractor performance and oversight exceed what is required of unsecured lenders in the home improvement financing market. For example, unlike traditional banks dealing in home improvement loans, Ygrene's specialized program not only oversees contractors, it includes such consumer safeguards as 100% recorded confirmed terms callbacks, project pricing guidelines, signed completion certificates, and a dedicated customer resolutions team to listen to homeowners and resolve any issues that may arise.
"Quality, integrity and innovation continue to drive our program," said Mike Lemyre, Senior Vice President at Ygrene. "As the PACE industry evolves, Ygrene remains committed to adopting policies that enhance our ability to better serve home owners. We also recognize that our financing structure is unique, which is why we take great care in advising our customers of the financing – and continue to improve our efforts to protect consumers."
Furthermore, Ygrene's underwriting criteria, codified in law, has led to extraordinarily low delinquency rates and zero foreclosures to date. As a result, in a recent survey, nearly 9 out of 10 Ygrene customers would recommend the company to Floridians, with just over one-percent of consumers lodging complaints for projects funded between January 2015 and March 2018 in Florida – including Hillsborough County.
"PACE has enabled thousands of Floridians to strengthen their homes who otherwise wouldn't be able to with traditional financing," said Jay Neal, president of the Florida-based watchdog group Florida Association for Insurance Reform. "I applaud Ygrene for driving a program that is critical to how homeowners respond to extreme weather conditions and for adopting policies that protect consumers, hold contractors accountable, and provide communities with confidence to invest in their homes."
Because of Ygrene's efforts, PACE financing has been an effective public policy implemented by hundreds of state and local governments in Florida, Missouri and California, with the support of policy advocacy organizations, service providers, manufacturers, and homeowners.
Ygrene is a national leader in residential and commercial clean energy financing. Founded in 2010, Ygrene's award-winning, privately funded Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program is revolutionizing the home improvement industry, making it easier for property owners to invest in their futures and a healthier environment. Ygrene is delivering greater choice for home and business owners by providing accessible and affordable financing for energy efficiency, renewables, water conservation, storm protection and seismic upgrades. Recognized as one of the fastest growing asset classes in the country, PACE has proven to be a successful tool for supporting public policy initiatives, all without the use of public tax dollars or credits. To date, Ygrene has provided over $1 billion of private capital to more than 500 local communities, creating thousands of jobs and investing millions into local economies across the U.S. While PACE programs are enabled by state legislation and must be approved by local governments, Ygrene is not a government program. Learn more at ygrene.com.