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Announcement:

Moody's assigns Green Bond Assessment (GBA) of GB1 to the Class A and B notes issued by E3 2019-1

20 Jun 2019

New York, June 20, 2019 -- Moody's Investors Service today assigned a Green Bond Assessment (GBA) of GB1 (Excellent) to the Class A and Class B notes issued by E3 2019-1, a limited liability company incorporated solely for the purpose of issuing the notes. The proceeds will be used to acquire bonds issued by the California Municipal Finance Authority pursuant to its Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. CMFA issues PACE bonds to fund renewable energy, energy efficiency and water conservation improvements to residential and commercial properties within its jurisdiction. Energy Efficient Equity, as an authorized program administrator, markets the PACE program to property owners and contractors and coordinates the issuance of PACE assessments by the CMFA.

"Our GB1 assessment reflects the expected use of proceeds to fund qualifying green projects" -- said Anna-Zubets-Anderson, VP-Senior Analyst.

ASSESSMENT RATIONALE

The GBA is driven by our expectation that the net proceeds of the bonds will be used primarily for investments that comply with ICMA's Green Bond Principles. The legislative intent behind the PACE program adheres to the Green Bond Principles in that it aims to stimulate the financing of distributed generation renewable energy sources, energy efficiency, water conservation and natural resource conservation improvements affixed to real property. PACE bond issuances are only authorized if the proceeds are used for improvements that meet applicable criteria.

Residential and commercial property owners participate in the PACE program in order to obtain funding for the installation of eligible property improvements. In exchange for such funding, the property owner agrees to an imposition of a property lien pursuant to a PACE assessment. PACE assessments are payable semi-annually together with property owner's real estate taxes and have equal lien priority with real estate taxes. To finance the improvements under the program, CMFA issues PACE bonds, with each bond secured by certain PACE assessments on residential or commercial properties. Energy Efficient Equity, working as program administrator for the CMFA PACE program, provides consumers, contractors and service providers detailed guidance on the program's funding approval process, project eligibility criteria, project completion certification requirements to authorize disbursement of funds, and related environmental objectives.

The GBA is further driven by our understanding of the policies and procedures surrounding the management of proceeds. Funds from the E3 2019-1 issuance will be directed by the trustee to repay the Issuer's existing credit agreement used to purchase the initial PACE bond portfolio, fund the prefunding accounts designated to purchase additional PACE assets, and transaction related fees and expenses. KPMG performs an audit to verify that information submitted to the trustee as to the initial PACE bond portfolio is accurate. Pending disbursement to purchase additional PACE bonds, funds in the prefunding account can be invested in eligible investments as defined in the indenture, such as US government securities and highly rated demand deposits. Each PACE bond indenture sets out further mechanics to make sure that the funds are used for eligible property improvements. Each PACE bond's proceeds are directed to specified accounts to reimburse the program administrator for payments made to contractors installing qualifying improvements. CMFA verifies that the expenditures comply with PACE program guidelines prior to disbursement, and also audits improvements for eligibility at least annually.

The GBA further reflects adequate reporting of expected environmental impact, coupled with some limitations as to subsequent reporting. Energy Efficient Equity prepared an impact report which calculates expected environmental benefits based on the composition of the initial PACE bond portfolio. Roughly $100 million has already been spent to fund over 3,200 projects - 69% in energy conservation, 18% in solar energy, 12% in water conservation, and 1% in seismic resiliency. Water, energy, and carbon emission savings were calculated based on the factors used by three leading PACE originators, using the most conservative assumptions among them. Energy Efficient Equity will update information on the composition of PACE bond portfolio and expected environmental impact on annual basis as long as the notes are outstanding. Nevertheless, Energy Efficient Equity is unable to track the energy production, energy efficiency improvements or water conservation performance of individual funded projects because the improvements are made to private residential and commercial properties and the owners are not required to track or report such information.

The methodology used in this analysis was Green Bonds Assessment (GBA) published in March 2016. Please see the Rating Methodologies page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

Energy Efficient Equity partners with local governments to administer Property Assessed Clean Energy programs. PACE programs are implemented in accordance with the policy framework initially promulgated by the US Department of Energy and announced by the White House in 2009. They allow state and local governments, where permitted by state law, to extend the use of land-secured financing to fund energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation improvements on private property.

The below contact information is provided for information purposes only. Please see the ratings tab of the issuer page at www.moodys.com, for each of the ratings covered, Moody's disclosures on the lead rating analyst and the Moody's legal entity that has issued the ratings.

This publication does not announce a credit rating action. For any credit ratings referenced in this publication, please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for the most updated credit rating action information and rating history.

Anna Zubets-Anderson
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 1 212 553 0376
Client Service: 1 212 553 1653

Jim Hempstead
MD - Utilities
Corporate Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 1 212 553 0376
Client Service: 1 212 553 1653

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 1 212 553 0376
Client Service: 1 212 553 1653

No Related Data.
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