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County Administrator's Office

For Immediate Release

Interest rates to increase July 1 for financing through Sonoma County Energy Independence Program

SANTA ROSA, CA | May 23, 2023

The Sonoma County Energy Independence Program, which helps property owners pay for improvements that utilize energy and water more efficiently and strengthen buildings against wildfires and earthquakes, announced today that interest rates on new financing will increase a half percent to 7.49 percent on July 1.

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors approved the increase today after receiving an annual report on the groundbreaking program, the first countywide municipal program of its kind to provide Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing for both homes and businesses.

“These interest rates are still very competitive with other types of financing, such as home equity loans and personal loans,” said Supervisor Chris Coursey, chair of the Board of Supervisors. “PACE financing has unique advantages that are worth exploring if you are looking for a way to pay for improvements that will make a home, apartment building, condominium or business safer and more efficient.”

The increase is the first since July 2022 when the county’s Energy Independence Program raised interest rates on PACE financing to 6.99 percent, up from 5.99 percent.

The Energy Independence Program allows property owners to finance improvements with no up-front costs and repay the amount, with interest, through property tax assessments over a term of 10 or 20 years. Financing is available from a minimum of $2,500 up to a maximum amount that equals 10 percent of a property’s market value. Interest rates remain fixed, and the assessment is attached to the property, not the owner.

The program finances more than 100 eligible improvements for energy efficiency, water conservation, renewable power, wildfire safety and seismic strengthening. Examples include new solar energy systems, roofs, windows, doors, toilets, insulation, landscape irrigation systems and electric vehicle chargers. A growing number of borrowers are using PACE financing to protect their properties from wildfires by installing fire-resistant roofs, siding, windows, decks, hardscaping and venting systems that prevent embers from infiltrating a building.

Since its inception in 2009, the county’s Energy Independence Program has disbursed more than $97.3 million in financing to 2,956 projects without a single default, the agency reported in an annual update to the Board of Supervisors. The projects, 90 percent of which were completed by local contractors, have created or retained more than 1,946 jobs while eliminating more than 144,126 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

For information about the Energy Independence Program, including answers to a list of Frequently Asked Questions, visit

Media Contact: 
Ted Appel, Communications Specialist
(707) 565-3040
575 Administration Drive, Suite 104A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403