NHA Advisors developed the first property tax based financing structure for the City of Berkeley, California, in 2007. As part of NHA Advisors continued financial advisory relationship with the City of Berkeley, NHA Advisors leadership worked to develop a financing mechanism that provided the foundation for the City’s intention to help meet its local green gas emissions reduction ordinance.

Using its three decades of special tax and assessment financing experience, NHA Advisors was able to create and validate, with the City’s legal counsel, the concept of using special tax assessments as the financial means to making solar photovoltaic (“PV”) systems a reality for residents of the City of Berkeley. This financing structure is now commonly known as Property Assessed Clean Energy (“PACE”) and is being legislatively approved throughout the United States. These programs are intended to finance both residential and commercial improvements such as energy efficiency, solar thermal and photovoltaic, and water efficiency.

How Does It Work?

Any property owner who voluntarily elects to make improvements and finance them through a special tax assessment can request that the sponsoring public agency place a lien on the improved property. Through this annual tax collection, a bond can be issued which is repaid from the revenue (giving the bond holder the highest form of security possible).

PACE Education

Who Has Created Programs?

NHA Advisors has worked with the City of Berkeley, the City and County of San Francisco and the City of Los Angeles to develop residential and commercial PACE programs. In addition to these developed programs, NHA Advisors continues to have conversations with public agencies throughout the United States on the concept of implementing PACE programs (assuming state laws have been adopted). Other operating programs include the County of Sonoma, County of Placer, Palm Desert and a multi-jurisdictional program operated by FIGTree which includes cities and counties throughout California.

Who is NHA Working With?

NHA Advisors continues to advise and provide expertise to most of the leading pioneers in the PACE industry. Although PACE has only been in existence since 2008, many firms have come into the industry to help create both the financing and administrative components that are key to the success of any PACE program. NHA has worked extensively with the following firms to assist in the expansion and development of the PACE industry.

NHA Advisors has lead discussions of PACE at various conferences and seminars including the Milken Institute 12th Annual Global Conference, Carbon War Room’s Green Capital Global Challenge, Bond Buyer Sustainable Energy Financing Conference, EcoMotion PACE Conference and many others.

Case Studies


Digging Deeper info

Photovoltaic Energy:

Energy 101: Solar PV

National Center for Photovoltaics – National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Solar Photovoltaic Technology – National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Solar Electricity Basics – Florida Solar Energy Center
Energy Basics: Photovoltaics – U.S. Department of Energy
Thermal Energy:
An Industry Report on Solar Thermal Energy (PDF) file