In an effort to encourage environmentally friendly business practices throughout the community, Sterling Heights has partnered with Lean & Green Michigan (LAGM) to roll out the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. PACE is a long-term financing tool available to commercial property owners to pay for energy and water efficiency and renewable energy upgrades without incurring any up-front costs.
Buildings consume 43% of energy in the United States, and 30% of this consumption is wasted due to inefficiency. Many businesses do not invest in renewable energy measures because it takes too long to see any payback benefits. PACE can help change that and encourage more commercial property owners to invest in renewable energy measures.
Through PACE, property owners receive 100% pre-funding for energy saving upgrades on their facilities and pay the PACE loan back through a special assessment on their property taxes. Financing is up to 25 years or the useful life of the project, there is no upfront cost and the interest rate is fixed. The property owner sees immediate positive cash flow, and the financing runs with the land, transferring to subsequent owners upon sale of the property.
Eligible properties include: commercial, industrial, multifamily, agricultural and non-profit properties.
Qualifying upgrades can include energy efficiency like lighting and HVAC, water efficiency like low-flow toilets and stormwater recapture, and renewables like solar/wind energy and geothermal. These upgrades can be part of projects including retrofits, gut rehabs, new construction or even refinancing of any of those. There are no formal limits, but PACE projects are generally larger than $100,000.
Example of a project using a short-term bank loan payback:
Example of a project using a long-term PACE assessment payback:
PACE can also be stacked with other incentives, including: historic tax credits, brownfield credits, utility incentives/rebates and investment tax credits (i.e. solar).
Properties valued at more than $400,000 with utility bills greater than $20,000 annually are most likely a good PACE candidate. PACE can have implications for how a project is designed and financed, so interested property owners are encouraged to start a PACE conversation as early in the process as possible.
Find out more about PACE at the Lean & Green Michigan website.