Texas Launches “PACE in a Box” Toolkit

pace-in-a-boxKeeping PACE in Texas, a nonprofit coalition that was formed to develop PACE programs for the state last year, has just released a final draft of its “PACE in a Box” toolkit, intended to be “a uniform, user-friendly, sustainable and scalable turnkey program to assist local governments in establishing and implementing PACE programs.”

A story posted by Katherine Tweed at The Energy Collective (April 26, 2014), notes that

Commercial PACE-financed projects climbed to nearly $60 million in 2013 with another $215 million in the pipeline, according to PACENow, a nonprofit that promotes PACE programs.

In most states, commercial PACE has been a regional affair, with different municipalities each adopting slightly different rules. (Connecticut, which has implemented a successful statewide PACE program, is the most notable exception.) There are various types of PACE programs popping up from coast to coast, and many are building on the lessons learned by early movers, particularly Connecticut and California.

In terms of program structure, Texas wants the best of both worlds: a program that can be tailored by municipalities and counties but with the right protocols in place for stakeholders to roll out the programs quickly and effectively with a minimal role for local government.

Our goal at New Jersey PACE is of course similar, and many features of our program are identical. However, we see our main role as providing the “uniform, user-friendly, sustainable, and scalable turnkey program” to municipalities as a 501c3 nonprofit administrator, processing project applications, assisting contractors and property owners with low-cost private financing, and monitoring energy performance on an ongoing basis. The municipality’s role can be as minimal as simply registering the assessments and providing a collection service — or it can be proactive in using the program for economic development, as a business attraction and retention tool, and as a carbon-reduction strategy.

Amongst many similarities,

The PACE in a Box toolkit uses energy-efficiency protocols developed by the Environmental Defense Fund’s Investor Confidence Project. The ICP isn’t looking to build new standards for energy efficiency, since so many already exist, but rather to create a system of protocols for how buildings are retrofitted so that the process is scalable, measurable and verifiable.

“Not only will ICP help create consistency in PACE programs across Texas, it will also align Texas PACE with a growing number of private investors interested in investing in the state,” Matt Golden, senior energy finance consultant with EDF, said in a statement. ICP also works with Connecticut’s Green Bank and the LA Better Buildings Challenge.

 “We are glad to have access to ICP’s energy-efficiency protocols to help ensure consistency in energy-efficiency monitoring and valuation so that property owners and lenders have confidence in the savings projected in their PACE in a Box financing opportunities,” said [Charlotte] Heydinger.

New Jersey PACE similarly subscribes to the ICP protocols.

Read the complete story here…

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