Pleasantville, NY (PRWEB) December 11, 2013
After more than a year of consideration and planning, the Wayne County Commission voted unanimously on December 5, 2013 to create a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) district that will assist business owners in financing energy efficiency improvements on their properties. With this action, Wayne County has become the largest local government outside of California to create a PACE district, and the fifth county and seventh local government to join the statewide Lean & Green Michigan PACE program run by Levin Energy Partners.
Lean & Green Michigan is a state-wide PACE program, structured to allow every municipality to join after holding a public hearing and passing a resolution of intent and adoption. Huron, Ingham, Macomb, Saginaw, and Wayne Counties and the Cities of Rochester Hills and Southfield have all joined the program.
The commercial PACE market is growing and to date nearly $52 million worth of sustainable upgrades to commercial buildings were funded with PACE. PACENow is supporting and contributing to the efforts of the many groups and organizations that are making PACE an efficient and effective tool for implementing energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to buildings. PACENow is is tracking and reporting industry’s progress through PACE Market Dashboard.
“PACE represents the rare public policy where everyone wins,” said Wayne County Commissioner Raymond E. Basham (D-Taylor), who introduced the concept to the Commission. “Property owners can save energy and money by undertaking upgrades that are cash-flow positive from day one.
“The projects generated will allow for additional business for local companies, thus enabling more jobs to become available for our citizens,” Basham continued. “And, just as importantly, the county will enjoy a better business climate, more valuable commercial and industrial building stock, and reduce our carbon output all at the same time.”
Wayne County Commissioner Tim Killeen (D-Detroit), who has stood firmly behind the PACE program by rallying support from business and non-profit leaders, said “this is at the heart of our role as commissioners - instituting innovative policies that drive economic development in the county. Without any cost to taxpayers, we are creating a whole new market for clean energy buildings, which is a positive for everyone involved.”
State law allows local units of government to enter into agreements to create PACE programs. Under this innovative arrangement, commercial and industrial property owners can take on voluntary special assessments to finance improvements or construction to reduce energy or water use or generate renewable energy. PACE allows companies the opportunity to maintain a positive cash flow while investing energy upgrades, at no cost to taxpayers.
Because the financing is secured by the County’s property tax authority, leaders provide finance terms up to 20 years, which transforms many energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that are otherwise prohibitively expensive into a no-money-down, cash flow positive proposition. In this long term financing, the property pays a higher interest, but saves through lower energy bills than what is being spent on project payments throughout the loan period.
“The importance of Wayne County joining the program cannot be overstated,” said Andy Levin, who will administer the program. “This vote means that all business property owners in the City of Detroit and throughout the county can apply for long-term financing that makes energy efficiency, water efficiency and renewable energy improvement cost effective.”
About Lean & Green Michigan:
Lean & Green Michigan is a statewide PACE clean energy finance market that all counties and cities may join free of charge. Once a local government joins, the market is available to all business and private non-profit property owners across the full range of industries: office buildings, warehouses, manufacturers, apartment complexes, hospitals, private schools and universities, and more.
Lean & Green Michigan is an open-market PACE system emphasizing owner-arranged financing. Lean & Green will match property owners, energy contractors, and lenders. The program usually facilitates 100% project financing on a cash-flow positive basis. Michigan’s PACE statute requires an energy audit, the particulars of which are determined on a case by case basis. The statute also requires lender consent. Lean & Green Michigan expects to announce its first PACE deal closing in the first quarter of 2014.
PACENow is a non-profit foundation funded advocate for Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. PACENow’s mission is to promote improved energy efficiency in buildings and use of PACE. Our strategy is to be a trusted source for information and resources to a growing coalition of PACE stakeholders that includes local governments, businesses, industry service providers, labor and trade organizations, environmental groups and private individuals nationwide.