Affordable financing for earthquake-proofing will help property owners comply with mandated requirements
PETALUMA, CA --Ygrene Energy Fund, a national leader in clean energy financing, announced today that PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing for seismic retrofits is now available to home and property owners in California. The addition of earthquake retrofitting to one of the first seismic PACE programs in the United States is designed to help property owners comply with mandatory seismic building requirements throughout the state.
“For Californians looking to protect against seismic damage, these retrofits are not a matter of luxury, but necessity,” said David Kelly, Ygrene's National Sales Director. “Property owners are searching for financing that complies with local ordinances and provides peace of mind for themselves and their tenants. Ygrene is pleased to work with property owners to ensure they receive the highest levels of consumer protection and a reliable, affordable way to make their properties more resilient.”
The announcement comes as scientists continue to predict a major earthquake could hit California soon, which means property owners need to be prepared. Several cities across California—including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, Alameda, Fremont, Burbank, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood—have already enacted ordinances that require mandatory seismic retrofits for certain structures.
Specifically for the Los Angeles metro area, home to the nation’s fourth-highest percentage of renters and a greater likelihood of powerful earthquakes in the coming years, preventative measures are crucial. In 2014, the Los Angeles City Council identified 13,500 soft-story buildings that needed strengthening and passed a new law requiring seismic retrofits—at the owners’ expense. While these measures help to educate the public and bolster the city’s resiliency, the improvements they call for don’t come cheap.
Retrofitting costs can exceed $100,000 for some multifamily buildings. Fortunately, Ygrene’s PACE financing provides property owners with a viable financial option to make seismic upgrades as quickly as possible.
Dilip Khatri, Ph.D., a structural engineer specializing in quake-resilient buildings in the Los Angeles region, has collaborated with Ygrene and recently discussed PACE financing as an effective tool to address seismic improvements. He advises property owners to begin the retrofitting process without delay.
“Prices will continue to rise because of the demand for services. It makes sense to get your project done sooner rather than later,” said Khatri. “Capital is also a big issue for small investors with limited liquidity. Rent control certainly does not help. Property owners will be looking at either ‘weathering’ this storm or selling their investments. It’s a plain fact of reality because [retrofits] are mandatory, so you have to evaluate your options.”
Hailed as one of the top 20 “world-changing” ideas by Scientific American Magazine, PACE financing is an innovative program that enables property owners affordable access to 100 percent financing for a wide variety of energy- and water-saving upgrades. Payments are made with property taxes and repaid over long terms, up to 20-plus years.
For more information on Ygrene PACE and seismic eligibility requirements, click here.
About Ygrene Energy Fund
Ygrene Energy Fund 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 400 local communities, creating thousands of jobs and investing millions into local economies across the U.S. Learn more at ygreneworks.com.