Assemblymember Dababneh’s Bill to Improve PACE Consumer Protection Heads to Governor
SACRAMENTO — Assemblymember Dababneh’s (D – Woodland Hills) measure to improve consumer protections and increase state oversight of California’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program gained approval by the Legislature and now heads to the Governor for signature.
“Enacting this bill into law will make California the national leader in preserving the PACE program by ensuring that environmental benefits and consumer protections go hand-in-hand,” remarked Assemblymember Dababneh. “This bill introduces the first state regulatory structure and ability-to-pay requirements in the country and provides an enforcement mechanism to guarantee increased consumer protections."
“We commend Assemblymember Dababneh’s leadership and commitment to adding necessary consumer protections to California's PACE program. AB 1284 will result in the PACE program finally having state regulatory oversight and underwriting standards, which are important steps in the right direction to protect vulnerable Californians from bad actors,” stated Courtney Jensen, VP of State Government Affairs for the California Credit Union League.
“With these added safeguards, California’s PACE program, which has successfully assisted thousands of homeowners install clean energy, energy efficiency, and earthquake safety upgrades, will now be better than ever,” remarked State Senator Nancy Skinner.
Assembly Bill (AB) 1284 proposes new requirements for PACE, which includes the following requirements:
- PACE program administrators would have to enroll, train and monitor the activities of home improvement contractors and salespeople that act on their behalf;
- PACE program administrators would have to determine a property owner’s ability to pay the annual payment obligations of a PACE assessment before a lien is placed on their property;
- Properties that qualify for PACE assessments would be subject to new limits on the amount of financing based on the property’s value.
In addition to these new protections for homeowners, AB 1284 authorizes the Department of Business Oversight (DBO) to regulate the activities of PACE program administrators. This component of the bill will help enforce the consumer protections laid out in AB 1284 along with the financial disclosures that were established last year in Assemblymember Dababneh’s bill, AB 2693.