Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy

Latest Episodes

Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Tech
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy

Loans for energy-efficient upgrades might be a bigger burden than a high energy bill

David Brancaccio and Jonaki Mehta Jan 7, 2019
Share Now on:
HTML EMBED:
COPY
Solar panels are installed on a roof.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A contractor comes knocking on your front door and tells you that you could have lower energy bills and be more environmentally conscious if you qualify for a program called PACE. It’s a loan from the government to get those solar panels you’ve been wanting or better insulation for your house. And you don’t have to start paying it back for months because it’s tied to your property taxes, which you only pay once or twice a year.

Critics suggest that it may be too good to be true.

In 2008, a government financing program called Property Assessment Clean Energy was introduced for states to implement if they chose to. With climate change becoming a more prominent global issue, PACE was just the kind of loan that that could advance federal and state goals to be more energy efficient. Many of these loans are sold to elderly homeowners who don’t have the means to repay them.

In large part, “the problems that we see stem from the fact that these loans are sold door-to-door by contractors who are going to do the work,” said Lisa Sitkin of the National Housing Law Project. She spoke to host David Brancaccio about the work she and her fellow policy and lawmakers are doing to make the consequences of taking out such a loan more transparent.

Click the audio player above to hear the full interview.

If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air.  But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.

Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.

When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.