Business Leaders Urge Gov. Christie to Sign PACE Bill

Further to a broad email campaign by various nonprofit organizations, several key industry leaders have called or written to the Governor, asking him to sign the PACE bill (A2579/S1510), which has been on his desk since June 25. Here’s one letter, from Michael Licamele of MSL Group, one of our founding sponsors:

Dear Governor Christie,

I am writing to request that you sign PACE Bill A2579/S1510 for two reasons: Sandy and jobs.

We are all only one weather report away from the next weather disaster, whether it is Joaquin this week, or at any moment in the foreseeable future.

Your PACE bill includes provisions for storm resiliency funding in addition to energy savings. As someone in Easton, Connecticut who lost power for 14 days twice with Irene and Sandy, I am personally tuned in to storm resiliency preparations and I know that none of us want to be facing a Sandy repeat. PACE financing can help move storm resiliency projects forward immediately so more homes and businesses will be prepared sooner.

PACE also means jobs. We are a company based in Connecticut that has been using the Connecticut C-PACE program since it got rolling last year. In less than 18 months, we have hired 10 new employees and have also generated substantial new revenues for Connecticut engineers, construction companies, HVAC firms, lighting companies and other service providers. And the sector is growing quickly.

If you sign this bill, we are ready to come to New Jersey immediately and since New Jersey is a lot larger than Connecticut we will hire even more employees and generate more business for local contractors..

The great thing about the PACE program is that it requires zero public tax dollars.

Also, we are a company making it clear that with the PACE program we will come to New Jersey without requesting any special tax credits, loans or other incentives at all. It will just be a great environment to cut electric and gas bills for commercial property owners which will also make it much more competitive for those businesses to operate in New Jersey over the long term.

I know we live in a very political world and I do not profess to know anything about New Jersey politics, but I can honestly say that PACE is not a Republican or Democrat issue because this is about jobs, new revenues for small business and energy savings for commercial property owners. We have met with a number of potential new employees and contracting firms in New Jersey. I have no idea what party they are and no one cares – they just care about earning a living and taking care of their families.

If you would like to know how the PACE program actually works, I would be happy to talk and or meet with you or your staff to share our successful experiences in Connecticut.

Thank you very much for your consideration of this bill.

Sincerely,
Michael Licamele
www.MSLGroupInc.com

And here’s our request for you to contact the Governor’s office:

Please explain to Governor Christie what the PACE bill (A2579/S1510) means for you, for local jobs and investment, for the ​clean energy industry​, and for a more storm and flood-resilient NJ.

  • If you’re a private property owner, you know that it requires upfront capital to make an investment in energy conservation, renewables, and resiliency improvements. PACE provides long term, cost-effective ​financing for up to 100% of your costs​.
  • If you’re a local government official you know that more investment in your community means more jobs for local constituents, better building stock and increased competitiveness in attracting new businesses​, and a greener footprint.
  • If you’re an investor or capital provider, you know what a lucrative opportunity PACE is for ​creating secure, long term returns while you are contributing to the economic development of New Jersey communities.
  • If you’re an energy services contractor, solar installer, energy engineer, or commercial or residential builder, PACE means more deals, deeper and more robust solutions that are more valuable to customers, and projects that get done because you can provide the right financing.
  • If you’re a member of a community impacted by Sandy or other severe weather events, you know how important it is to build better to mitigate and adapt to ​the impacts of ​sea-level rise and other climate changes.

And you know PACE is the right vehicle, allowing private money to flow to private property owners to make the needed improvements, saving energy and creating a cleaner future. Since PACE costs nothing for taxpayers and the municipality, ​it’s a win-win for property owners and the community.

If you want to see the PACE bill (A2579/S1510) signed, call Governor Christie’s office at 609-292-6000, and/or submit your comments through his web portal (http://www.state.nj.us/governor/contact/). Explain why you think he should sign the bill. It’s been on his desk since June 25. ​There’s no reason he should hesitate: PACE is about jobs, economic development, Sandy-related resiliency improvements, a profitable new asset class for private investors — and it costs taxpayers nothing. Every month’s delay is costing our state about $10 million in lost investment.

Rather than giving you a form letter (which doesn’t count for much these days), we’re asking you to comment in your own words why signing the PACE bill is good for you and good for New Jersey. And then let us know that you’ve done it — thanks.

— Jonathan Cloud, Gus Escher, Rafael Melendez, & Victoria Zelin, your nonprofit New Jersey PACE Team (Contact Us)

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