SAN FRANCSICO (CBS SF) — Below is a statement provided to KPIX by Ygrene Energy Fund.
“KPIX continues to paint a highly misleading and inaccurate portrait of the PACE industry and Ygrene, which lacks any comprehensive data about the program. The reporting is based on a handful of anecdotal matters taking as fact allegations and not acknowledging that there are thousands and thousands of happy property owners, who received PACE financing. It’s revealing that KPIX’s reporting focuses on a few projects that were funded before AB 1284 went into effect in California, which provided consumers additional protections when utilizing PACE. It would be very difficult for such outcomes to occur today.
Ygrene has helped thousands of Californians and hundreds of communities across the state with critical access to affordable, reliable and necessary upgrades to their most important asset — their homes. Ygrene supported AB 1284 when it became law, and Ygrene is committed to providing the strongest consumer protections and contractor oversight in the home improvement finance industry. In all cases, property owners choose their own contractor to do PACE-eligible improvements on their homes, which Ygrene finances.
Currently, in order for a contractor to enter into Ygrene’s program, Ygrene confirms that the contractor is licensed with the California Contractors State License Board and has the required insurance and business license with the Secretary of State. Ygrene then further investigates the contractor’s experience, reputation, and financial strength.
Ygrene also conducts on-going contractor monitoring, project reviews, customer satisfaction surveys, and other consumer protection related measures.
AAA Remodeling is a licensed contractor with the California Contractors State Licensing Board. Brent George and AAA Remodeling are not only Ygrene qualified but also registered PACE solicitors with the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation, which is the regulatory agency overseeing the PACE industry and have gone through our extensive onboarding process. Ygrene does not share solicitors, and we are conducting an internal investigation to learn how AAA Remodeling received the contact information for the property owner in question.
Ygrene does not comment on pending litigation, but this “class action” lawsuit is a purely lawyer-created case against Ygrene, and we feel confident that we will be vindicated as this case moves forward. It’s important to note that Ms. Bryson received all disclosures, she participated in terms verification calls going over the financing and improvements, and she participated in a completion call and confirmed that the work was done to her satisfaction.
Berkeley Environmental Law Clinic Report
As an initial matter, the report isn’t based on research but instead on allegations from PACE opponents. As the largest PACE provider, we were disappointed to learn from a media outlet that the Berkeley Environmental Law Clinic was issuing a report written in conjunction with four students on the PACE industry without ever talking to any PACE providers who administer the public-private program.
Sadly, the report is nothing more than an editorial without any supporting data. Further, it includes verifiably, inaccurate allegations about Ygrene that we brought to the attention of the report’s author, and solely focuses on rare instances of alleged abuse presented by PACE opponents and extrapolates them to make sweeping allegations about the industry, without any data to support their claims.
Further, the report fails to recognize the successes of the PACE program for tens-of-thousands of California homeowners, providing them with critical access to affordable, reliable and necessary upgrades to their most important asset — their homes.
Ygrene has been and is committed to providing the strongest consumer protections and contractor oversight in the home improvement finance industry. We take any allegations of poor behavior seriously and since inception, have supported numerous revisions to policy and practice that have strengthened consumer protection and expanded access. We will continue to engage with stakeholders in California to strengthen the program.”