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Local Option - Special Districts

Savings Category 
Solar Water Heat
Solar Space Heat
Solar Photovoltaics
Wind (All)
Geothermal Heat Pumps
Heat Pumps
Air conditioners
Heat recovery
Energy Mgmt. Systems/Building Controls
Duct/Air sealing
Building Insulation
Other EE
Wind (Small)
Program Info
Sector Name 
Programs administered locally
Program Type 
PACE Financing
Note: In 2010, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which has authority over mortgage underwriters Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, directed these enterprises against purchasing mortgages of homes with a PACE lien due to its senior status above a mortgage. Most residential PACE activity subsided following this directive; however, some residential PACE programs are now operating with loan loss reserve funds, appropriate disclosures, or other protections meant to address FHFA's concerns. Commercial PACE programs were not directly affected by FHFA’s actions, as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not underwrite commercial mortgages. Visit PACENow for more information about PACE financing, and for a comprehensive list of all PACE programs across the country.

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. Florida statutes authorize municipalities and counties to establish dependent special districts with the authority to collect revenue via a special assessment. (Not all local governments in Florida offer PACE financing; contact your local government to find out if it has established a PACE financing program.)

Florida PACE Programs

To be eligible for PACE financing, a local program at the city or county level must be available in your area. Jurisdictional eligibility rules vary by county and municipality; municipalities in an eligible county are not automatically eligible for PACE financing. Counties with PACE programs as of August 2014 included Flagler, Gadsden, Gulf, Indian River, Jefferson, Loean, Martin, Miami-Dade, Nassau, Palm Beach, Pinellas, and St. Lucie.

Examples of active local PACE programs in Florida include:

Program Provisions

Specific qualifying improvements are locally determined. The loans made to property owners are secured with a lien that is equal to county taxes and assessments. To participate in this program, property owners must have paid property taxes and not been delinquent for the previous three years. Additionally, the total assessment cannot be for an amount greater than 20% of the assessed value of the property. Local governments may pool together with other local governments to finance and administer programs.

Program Creation

Local governments were granted clear authority to create PACE financing programs with the passage of HB 7179 in May 2010. This legislation authorizes local governments - including counties, municipalities and dependent special districts - to levy non-ad valorem assessments to fund energy efficiency and conservation improvements, renewable energy improvements, and wind resistance improvements. 

In addition to authority granted by HB 7179, existing Florida law authorizes municipalities and counties to create special districts for financing a variety of projects that serve the public purpose and benefit the municipality or county. Many special districts currently exist to finance public infrastructure and administer various programs that serve the public purpose and benefit property owners and the municipality or county. A municipality or county can create a dependent special district to administer a PACE program. The Special District Information Program of the Florida Department of Community Affairs has a handbook that summarizes how counties and municipalities may create a dependent special district.