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Can PACE Show the Way Forward for an EU Strategy to Upgrade Buildings?

Dec. 20, 2018
EuroPACE contributes to the creation of resilient and vibrant communities that enjoy economic growth and healthy environments

A few key facts about energy inside the European Union are worth repeating here today: 97% of all European buildings need to be upgraded. To keep pace with major EU goals, the renovation rate must increase from 1% to 3%. To achieve the 2030 goals set by the EU, an investment of nearly €100bn a year is needed. Smarter financing will be one key element of the solution – and it might well be the number-one key element.

Home renovation can be stressful, expensive and difficult. EuroPACE was designed to make it easy, fast and reliable for all Europeans. EuroPACE contributes to the creation of resilient and vibrant communities that enjoy economic growth and healthy environments. The impact of EuroPACE goes far beyond energy savings. Each of every Euro invested in building renovations results in both societal and economic benefits, including job creation and climate change abatement.

(This EuroPACE project has received funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 785057.)

The concept of EuroPACE is inspired by the success of an on-tax financing model called PACE, launched in California in 2008. In the US, in the past four years, the PACE market reached over $5 billion in funded projects, which resulted in more than 40,000 new local jobs and the creation of hundreds new companies.

PACE is a financing program can be used to pay for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation upgrades to buildings. The financing covers up to 100% of a project’s costs and is repaid as a special charge added to a property tax bill over a term of up to 20 years. EuroPACE adopts best practices from the US PACE market and intends to further enhance its reach, scope, and overall impact well beyond the US experience.

As it was first developed in 2008 in California, the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) model is an innovative mechanism to pay for energy efficiency upgrades to homes and buildings, which is already used at scale in the U.S.A. with funded projects of more than €4 billion. EuroPACE brings this innovation to Europe.

EuroPACE is set to deploy private capital as up-front financing to homeowners -- and to have the costs repaid over time as a special charge added to the existing property tax bill. By doing this, EuroPACE is looking to de-risk energy efficiency investment. The project will also design standard requirements and project performance guidelines and train energy service contractors to better assist homeowners with their decisions on how to optimise the energy use of their houses.

EuroPACE is much more than financing. It makes it easier for cities to invest in energy efficiency, increase comfort and security of their citizens, reduce energy usage and, ultimately, create vibrant and resilient communities. Several European cities, including Bilbao, Frankfurt, Kassel, Ladornac, Lisbon, Macerata, Pisa, Porto, Prague, and Toledo, have already expressed their interest to implement EuroPACE program for building renovation.

A pilot is being deployed in the city of Olot in Catalunya – with a focus on residential buidlings. The aim is to ensure that EuroPACE becomes a growing market in that region, and in the rest of Spain. The project team has assessed the readiness in several EU countries of those national tax systems for on-tax financing. EuroPACE’s team is now working on the adoption of EuroPACE by lead cities in Austria, Belgium, Italy, Poland and Romania.

EuroPACE ( is a three-year project, kicked-off in March 2018. It is aiming to end its activities in March 2021. Through the three year the project intends to focus in these three program areas:

1. Assess Market Readiness: Conduct market review to determine viability and attractiveness of EuroPACE financing across Europe. EuroPACE is designed to be a flexible financing tool that can be adapted to a variety of political, legal and economic landscapes in EU-28.

2. Deploy EuroPACE in Spain: Design and run the first residential EuroPACE pilot in Olot (Catalunya).

3. Scaling Across Europe: Facilitate and support four lead cities which are willing to set up EuroPACE platforms.

The EuroPACE Consortium consists of eight partners from four European countries: Spain, Italy, Poland and the UK.

To learn more, check out these videos:

What is PACE Financing?

Why Should Property Owners Use PACE?

PACENation's Anthem

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