'''''Note: The Federal Housing Financing Agency (FHFA) issued a [http://www.fhfa.gov/webfiles/15884/PACESTMT7610.pdf statement] in July 2010 concerning the senior lien status associated with most PACE programs. [http://www.dsireusa.org/documents/Incentives/OK18F.htm S.B. 102] amended the law to make PACE loans junior and inferior to other liens. Effective November 1, 2011, this law should allow local governments to adopt PACE programs that are within the acceptable parameters established by the FHFA.'''''
Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing effectively allows property owners to borrow money to pay for energy improvements. The amount borrowed is typically repaid via a special assessment on the property over a period of years. Oklahoma has authorized county governments to establish such programs, as described below. (Not all local governments in Oklahoma offer PACE financing; contact your local government to find out if it has established a PACE financing program.)
Oklahoma enacted legislation in April 2009 (S.B. 668) that authorized counties to create "County District Energy Authorities." The Authorities are authorized to issue notes/bonds, seek out public/private lenders, or apply for grants/loans from other governmental entities in order to establish and fund local PACE programs. Once a county has established the Authority and PACE program, county property owners, who are up-to-date on their property taxes, may enter into a contract with the county to receive a loan for permanently fixed renewable energy or energy efficiency improvements to their property. These loans are then repaid via the property taxes and they constitute a lien on the property until paid in full.
The legislation mandates that any resulting county loan program established must require participating property owners to undergo an energy audit (the cost of the audit may also be rolled into the financing received). The efficiency equipment must be energy star rated. Finally, the legislation also authorizes the County District Energy Authorities to establish a grant program for not-for-profit organizations that are property-tax exempt, although the Authorities are not required to do so. The remaining details of a county program are determined locally and will vary from county to county.