Commercial PACE Gains Ground in Many States

States continue to introduce commercial PACE programs:

States with Commercial PACE Programs

States with Commercial PACE Programs

This is taken from:

PACENow_Book-for-Building-Owners1


An October 24, 2012 article by Eric Wolff, for U-T San Diego, notes: Businesses get new finance option for energy efficient improvements:

The San Diego City Council revived a program Tuesday to allow commercial property owners to finance energy and water efficiency improvements after a four-year, regulator-induced coma.

The program, called Property Assessed Clean Energy, allows commercial property owners, including owners of multifamily apartment buildings with four or more units, to get privately backed loans to buy insulation, energy efficient appliances, solar panels, and water efficient fixtures and repay the loans on their property tax bills. The payments stay with the property, and not the business, reducing the risk for the building owner.

“It’s going to create a lot of jobs, and at the same time knock down energy bills,” Mayor Jerry Sanders said.

Read more…

An earlier and more extensive treatment by Leo Wiegman,
“A Handful of States Are Reimagining Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing” is available at http://www.stateenergyreport.com/2012/08/06/pace-makers/. This article notes:

Fourteen California counties representing 127 cities reached agreement with the California Statewide Communities Development Authority (California Communities) for a residential PACE program modeled on the programs established in Los Angeles and San Francisco. When the FHFA advisory of 2010 effectively froze progress on residential PACE, these local governments began to examine PACE financing for commercially owned properties. The resulting program, CaliforniaFIRST, replicates the standards and process used in the counties of Los Angeles and San Francisco.

After a competitive process, California Communities selected Renewable Funding and Royal Bank of Canada Capital Markets as project partners to offer a complete AB 811 program to cities and counties throughout the state, including administration, legal, and finance. The founders of Renewable Funding, the CaliforniaFIRST Program administrator, helped create the PACE program model and is assisting cities, counties, and states nationwide to launch these financing programs.

There is also growing interest in a version of PACE called “PACE 3P” (for “third-party”) that combines PACE with third-party financing and solar leasing programs in such as way as to secure lenders and equipment suppliers:

Exploring a New Finance Approach for Commercial Solar: PACE and Third Party Ownership Model. You can listen to a recording of the webinar at https://vimeo.com/52103528.

Forbes contributor Justin Gerdes reported on November 19, 2012 that SF announced its biggest commercial PACE retrofit to date, the $1.6 million Pier 1 project… San Francisco Announces Biggest Commercial Clean Energy PACE Retrofit.

In June he reported on Connecticut’s commitment to launch “the first statewide commercial PACE program,” noting:

Nearly 30 states have passed legislation enabling commercial property assessed clean energy (PACE) programs. On June 12, Connecticut lawmakers voted to create the nation’s first statewide commercial PACE program. Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed the bill (PDF) into law on June 15.

In a recent interview, Kerry O’Neill, a senior advisor at the Clean Energy Finance Center (CEFC), a Connecticut-based non-profit policy shop, told me that PACE supporters in Connecticut had for several years wanted to pass a bill authorizing a program, but this year the timing was right.

“With a new governor who has put energy as a priority for the state, and a new Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection [Daniel C. Esty] also putting PACE as a priority, coming into this legislative session it was really all hands on deck to build a broad base of stakeholders who support this policy and enabling legislation,” she said…

The commercial PACE program will be managed by the state’s Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA), also known as the “green bank,” which will also have the authority to back PACE bonds. “CEFIA will aggregate the PACE transactions and work with financial institutions to invest in them, allowing commercial building owners to access capital at a lower interest rate,” O’Neill said in a statement.

Gerdes had earlier reported on a decision by the city of Miami to join the South Florida Green Corridor District:

The PACE Commercial Consortium, spearheaded by the Carbon War Room and backed by Lockheed Martin, Barclays Capital, and Ygrene Energy Fund, announced, in September 2011, its intent to fund $550 million worth of energy retrofits in Miami-Dade County, Florida, and $100 million more in Sacramento, California.

He concludes that “billions of dollars in unfunded projects are waiting nationwide.”

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