Thinking about investing in impact windows? Make sure you’re getting the best possible deal on your installation by taking advantage of Florida’s PACE program to minimize your costs.
What is the Florida PACE program?
The Florida PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) program, like many in the nation, is actually several different programs operated in accordance with guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Energy. In Florida, a combination of statewide guidelines, local governments, and third party partners work together to create a consistent set of financing options for the upgrade of residential and commercial properties to operate more cleanly and efficiently.
PACE provides a long-term fixed-rate source of financing for qualifying installations. Typically, PACE financing will cover 100% of materials and installation up front, with a term of 20 or 30 years at a low interest rate. For example, Florida PACE financing through a Ygrene, a leading provider of PACE financing across the US, typically ends up at roughly a 7 percent interest rate for 20 years.
Payment for PACE financing is assessed and paid as part of your property taxes, subject to the same laws of collection governing the rest of your property tax.
Why Use Your PACE Financing on Impact Windows?
There are several ways you can leverage PACE to improve your Florida home. Here are a few of the reasons you should make one of your first upgrades impact windows, if you really want to save:
- Increased energy efficiency - Windows are a major source of lost energy; the biggest loss of energy, in a well-secured and weatherproofed home. By upgrading from traditional single-pane windows to Energy Star rated double-pane impact windows, you stand to save hundreds of dollars in energy costs every year—especially in Florida’s climate.
- Reduce premiums - Impact windows can greatly reduce insurance premiums in Florida, by minimizing the risk to your home inherent to more fragile windows. If your home is less likely to be damaged by a storm blowing through a shattered window, the risk assessed by your insurance company will be lower—and so you’ll pay less.
- Improved safety - You greatly reduce your risk of lost or damaged property, or harm to yourself and your family, by minimizing the risk of shattered windows during a storm. Even a single broken window can cause immense water damage, threaten cuts, etc.
- Fewer replacements - Impact windows are far less likely to be damaged in storms or various incidental threats than less rugged windows, meaning you save on parts and labor for replacements over time.
Taking advantage of one of the Florida PACE programs can seem complicated at first glance. To access these incentives and secure financing, it’s often easiest to work with a contractor familiar with the process to point you in the right direction. Many Florida contractors work as part of a network of independent contractors affiliated with PACE providers and other sources of financing.
Barring that, you’ll need to identify which Florida program is appropriate for your upgrade. PACE financing is offered by third party organizations working under the guidelines of the Department of Energy, the Florida state government, and local municipality governments; you’ll need to contact the appropriate third party, such as Ygrene for residential PACE, and follow their application process.
Savings for Homeowners
There are a few ways the PACE program saves homeowners money, compared to traditional financing or up-front purchases.
- Keep capital in your pockets - As PACE covers 100% of costs up front, you get to keep more of your money at hand for longer. Invest in other, non-PACE upgrades, or put your money into other investments.
- Fair, fixed rates - PACE offers highly competitive rates to encourage the widespread adoption of greener, safer, more efficient technology in American homes.
- Budget wisely - PACE financing shouldn’t be treated as a blank check; you’re still going to be paying for your impact windows, doors, and other home improvements come tax season. Don’t overextend yourself and end up regretting it every year.
- Prioritize savings - Figure out which upgrades PACE can cover, and figure out which of those saves you the most money over time. Impact windows and impact doors are often a standout option in Florida, thanks to hurricanes and lesser storms, but if parts of your home are older you may have other options to consider.
Want to find out more about impact windows, utilizing the Florida PACE program, and other useful information for updating your home efficiently? Contact Alco Windows and Doors today to find out how your South Florida home can become safer, greener, and cheaper to maintain without breaking the bank!