Sacramento energy efficiency effort Or they can install solar panels, immediately lowering their electric bills while paying for the equipment bit by bit. City officials hope the effort will create 1,500 jobs and help Sacramento reach its goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 15 percent by 2020. The popularity of solar leases, which allow homeowners to install solar panels without having to buy the equipment outright, has fueled the industry's rapid growth. Pioneered in Berkeley in 2008, PACE programs typically allow building owners to make energy improvements using money from bonds issued by local governments. PACE programs for homes, however, were dealt a serious blow in 2010 when the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, raised objections.