Bill Tracker

SB 242 (Skinner) Property Assessed Clean Energy program

Position:Watch
Status:Chaptered
Summary:
Existing law, known commonly as a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program, authorizes a public agency, by making specified findings, to authorize public agency officials and property owners to enter into voluntary contractual assessments to finance the installation of distributed generation renewable energy sources or energy or water efficiency improvements that are permanently fixed to real property. Existing law similarly authorizes a community facilities district to be formed pursuant to an alternative procedure under which the district initially consists solely of territory proposed for annexation to the community facilities district in the future and territory is annexed and subjected to special taxes only upon unanimous approval of the owners, to finance and refinance the acquisition, installation, and improvement of energy efficiency, water conservation, and renewable energy improvements. Existing law authorizes a public agency, or an entity that administers a PACE financing program on behalf of and with the written consent of a public agency, to issue PACE bonds that are secured by voluntary contractual assessments, voluntary special taxes, or special taxes on property to assist property owners in financing the installation of distributed generation renewable energy sources, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, or energy or water efficiency improvements.

The bill would require a program administrator, before a property owner executes an assessment contract, as defined, to make an oral confirmation that at least one owner of the property has a copy of specified documents and forms related to the contract, and to provide an oral confirmation of the key terms of an assessment contract with the property owner on the call or an authorized representative of the owner on the call that contains specified information. The bill would require a program administrator to record the oral confirmation, and to retain that recording for a specified period of time. The bill would require a program administrator to ask if the property owner would prefer the oral confirmation be provided in a language other than English, and would require the program administrator to deliver the oral confirmation in the property owner’s language or via an interpreter chosen by the property owner in order for the contract to proceed, and would require the program administrator to provide the property owner with the translation of specified documents. This bill would prohibit a program administrator from waiving or deferring the first payment on an assessment contract, and would require that a property owner’s first assessment payment be due no later than the fiscal year following the fiscal year in which the installation of the efficiency improvement is completed.

The bill would prohibit a contractor or other 3rd party from advertising the availability of an assessment contract that is administered by a program administrator, or from soliciting property owners on behalf of the program administrator, unless specified requirements are met. The bill would prohibit a program administrator from providing direct or indirect cash payments or anything of a material value to a contractor or 3rd party that is in excess of the actual price charged to the property owner for the sale or installation of efficiency improvements financed by an assessment contract, except for reimbursement of bona fide and reasonable training expenses related to PACE financing, as provided. The bill would also prohibit a program administrator from providing direct or indirect cash payments or anything of a material value to a property owner that is explicitly conditioned upon the property owner entering into the assessment contract. The bill would prohibit a program administrator, contractor, or other 3rd party from making any representation as to the tax deductibility of an assessment contract, unless that representation is consistent with applicable state and federal law. The bill would prohibit a program administrator from providing information that discloses specified information relating to the property owner or the property. The bill would prohibit a contractor from providing a different price for a project financed by a PACE assessment than the contractor would provide if paid in cash by the property owner.
 
Existing law prohibits a public agency from permitting a property owner to participate in a PACE program unless the property owner satisfies certain conditions and the property owner is given the right to cancel the contractual assessment at any time before midnight on the 3rd business day after certain events occur, without penalty or obligation, consistent with certain requirements. Existing law requires a home improvement contract to be in writing and to contain certain information, notices, and disclosures, including a statement that a consumer has a right to cancel or rescind the contract within 3 days, and authorizes the consumer to waive that right to cancel in the case of an emergency or immediately necessary repairs.
 
The bill would make it unlawful to commence work under a home improvement contract if the property owner entered into the home improvement contract based on the reasonable belief that the work would be covered by the PACE program, and the property owner rescinds the PACE financing within the 3-day time period described above. The bill would require a contractor who violates that provision to restore the property to its original condition, and to return any money, property, and other consideration back to the property owner. The bill would authorize a property owner to waive his or her right to cancel for a contract that the property owner initiated for emergency repair or immediately necessary repair, as provided.
 
The bill would require a program administrator, for each PACE program that it administers, to submit reports to the public agency by a specified time that contains specified information regarding that program.
 
This bill would include findings that the changes proposed by this bill address a matter of statewide concern, and therefore shall apply to all cities and counties, including charter cities.

 

Comments:

SB 242 is supported by the League of California Cities

More Info:Legislative Website Info
Letters:
Last Updated:October 15, 2017