Lean and Green Michigan, a public-private partnership assembled by Andrew Levin (son of U.S. Representative Sander Levin, and former director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth), has signed up Ingham County and the Detroit suburb of Southfield as its first “PACE districts” in Michigan. Prior to this, only Ann Arbor was able to take advantage of Michigan’s 2010 PACE legislation by floating its own bond issue.
According to Levin, most cities and counties lack the resources or expertise to administer such programs; and he argues that his “shared services” approach — very similar to the model adopted by NJPACE — helps overcome these obstacles.
Two recent articles detail the progress of Lean and Green Michigan in enrolling communities in the program:
“In Michigan, a plan to overcome obstacles to PACE financing,” by Christie Bleck, published April 15, 2013 in MidWest Energy News, notes
Instead of many jurisdictions each having their own district, Lean & Green simplifies the process and uses what Levin calls a “shared services” approach. He says this is beneficial for owners who have properties in multiple jurisdictions but now have to deal with only a single PACE district. Banks also have a larger pool of projects to finance.
And in “Levin loan program aims to create ‘green’ buildings” published on April 21 in the Oakland Press, Chad Selweski writes that:
Under the plan, businesses across Macomb County could apply for 15-year loans to pay off building upgrades that would lower their energy bills. Under one scenario, a factory could engage in $1 million in energy-saving upgrades that would save the company 30 percent on utility bills, and pay off their loan over more than a decade.
According to the article,
Levin has partnered with several banks, the Miller Canfield law firm and the International Brotherhood of Electrical workers union. The IBEW’s training center in Warren offers continuing education to 4,500 workers and 185 contractors. IBEW Local 58, which represents electricians across the Detroit area, has more than 900 workers trained in solar panel installations.
The program expects its first project to go forward in Southfield this summer.