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Public and Private Experts in Financing Clean Energy Improvements Gather in Washington, D.C. for First Ever Mid-Atlantic PACE Alliance Conference

Stakeholders from Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. to address ways to accelerate financing commercial energy improvements with minimal to no upfront costs

Washington, D.C. (November 9, 2017) – Businesses looking for ways to make clean energy improvements can get all of their questions answered at the first conference of its kind happening November 13, 2017 at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

Titled “Winning with PACE: Game Plans for Financing Energy Improvements”, the educational conference program content was developed by the Mid-Atlantic PACE Alliance (MAPA). PACE, or C-PACE, is an acronym for Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy and is an innovative tool for owners of commercial property and non-profit organizations to use to finance energy-related property improvements, such as purchasing new equipment and solar panels, with no upfront costs.  C-PACE programs are enabled by local governments in 13 Maryland jurisdictions and Washington, DC. Virginia has enabled local jurisdictions to also participate in this program by allowing C-PACE repayments through annual property tax bills. C-PACE assessments have an advantage over conventional financing because they are attached to the property, rather than the building owner, and are transferrable upon sale to a new owner.

The November 13th conference will feature regional and national experts in C-PACE and highlight successful projects using this model. The lunch keynote address will be delivered by Charlene Heydinger, President of the Texas PACE Authority.  Other presenters will include representatives from the property owner, lender, contractor and governmental communities, and attendees will have the opportunity to share their experiences and ideas for advancing the clean energy economy in the region. The leadership of Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia are on board and here’s why.

“Washington, DC is committed to building a greener, more sustainable city. And by decreasing our carbon footprint, we can also cut utility bills and build a city that is more resilient to the impacts of climate change,” said DC Mayor Muriel Bowser. “DC PACE financing has helped Washingtonians renovate and extend the life of aging buildings, reduce energy costs, deploy solar power, and provide safe and comfortable community gathering spaces–all at no additional costs to District taxpayers.”

“Commercial PACE is an innovative clean-energy financing tool that can be a game-changer in Virginia,” said Virginia’s Governor Terry McAuliffe. “It is a job-creating clean energy catalyst that will provide benefits to localities and our state by giving businesses the chance to better control how their facilities use energy.  I encourage all localities in Virginia to look at this option as they work to reduce energy consumption and lower energy costs for businesses within their jurisdictions.”

Maryland Clean Energy Center Executive Director I. Katherine Magruder added: “Maryland is taking proactive steps to help commercial property owners to make energy improvements and reduce related costs by advancing access to PACE financing. The MD-PACE program, operated by the Maryland Clean Energy Center in partnership with many of our local jurisdictions, makes it easier to finance projects and for contractors to close deals.”

MAPA’s goals include being a resource for local governments, property owners, lenders and energy performance contractors in the Maryland, DC, and Virginia region. The group also is working to grow C-PACE programs in the mid-Atlantic to reach $80 million in loan closings by December 2019.

MAPA is a regional partnership between C-PACE program sponsors and program administrators in Maryland, District of Columbia and Virginia and other stakeholders including state and local governments and industry partners. The Alliance is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy to advance Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy financing solutions.  For more information visit the MAPA website.

Contacts: Julia Christian, District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment

Desk: (202) 741-0842
Cell: (202) 450-7878

E-mail: [email protected]
Tarah Kesterson, Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy
Phone: (276) 523-8146
Cell: (276) 356-3405
E-mail: [email protected]

Alicia Moran, Maryland Clean Energy Center
Cell: (410) 991-7027
E-mail: [email protected]

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MikePublic and Private Experts in Financing Clean Energy Improvements Gather in Washington, D.C. for First Ever Mid-Atlantic PACE Alliance Conference

PACENation Thanks Governor Brown for Signing into Law Model PACE Legislation

Consumer Protection Framework Provides Model for Other States

PACENation applauded California Governor Jerry Brown for signing into law landmark legislation, AB 1284 and SB 242, that strengthens residential PACE financing through a comprehensive consumer protection and regulatory framework. The bills, which passed with overwhelming bi-partisan support, provide important new standards that will strengthen and improve PACE financing for homeowners across California, and can serve as a model for other states.

“We hope that policymakers in other states will look to this model PACE legislation,” said David Gabrielson, Executive Director of PACENation. “These new laws provide critical safeguards that will help PACE programs scale responsibly in communities around the country. By basing underwriting on income and ability-to-pay, requiring a comprehensive suite of consumer protections, and mandating program reporting to public agencies, PACE will better serve homeowners and local communities in saving energy and making a positive impact on the environment.

“PACENation would like to thank the coalition of environmental organizations, consumer advocates, business leaders, clean energy groups, public officials, and others who worked together to see this legislation become law,” said Gabrielson.

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MikePACENation Thanks Governor Brown for Signing into Law Model PACE Legislation

Nation’s First Rated Commercial PACE Securitization Completed by Greenworks Lending

Greenworks Lending, a national lender for commercial PACE (C-PACE) projects, announced today it has closed the nation’s first rated securitization of exclusively C-PACE assets. The $75 million issuance was arranged by Guggenheim Securities and TIAA Investments (an affiliate of Nuveen) was the lead investor. Morningstar Credit Ratings, LLC, rated the securitization.

This securitization is a first for the C-PACE market, which has financed nearly $500 million in clean energy infrastructure for over 1,000 commercial buildings across the nation. C-PACE is a local financing option approved by municipalities to promote private investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and water conservation for commercial properties. C-PACE works for commercial buildings of all types, including retail, office, agricultural, industrial, multifamily, and nonprofit-owned properties.

Greenworks Lending, led by Co-founders Jessica Bailey and Alexandra Cooley, has financed C-PACE projects in seven states and has grown steadily since launching in 2015.

“This is a milestone moment for the commercial PACE market, as well as for Greenworks Lending,” said Jessica Bailey, Co-founder and CEO of Greenworks Lending. “We built our company with the goal of bringing capital to building owners who want to improve their properties and reduce their energy consumption. This deal is an important step in furthering that mission, while also promoting smart solutions to climate change and spurring local economic development.”

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MikeNation’s First Rated Commercial PACE Securitization Completed by Greenworks Lending

Set the PACE St. Louis Closes $10mm PACE Clean-energy Project in Grand Center Arts District

Source: City of St. Louis

Started in the summer of 2013, Set the PACE St. Louis is a part of the City’s award-winning sustainability plan.

This week, the City of St. Louis closed one of the largest Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) projects nationwide with the recent financing of the Missouri Theatre building at 634 N. Grand in the Grand Center Arts District in Midtown St. Louis. Set the PACE St. Louis, the City’s clean-energy financing program, will help the developer, Lawrence Group, install comprehensive energy efficiency measures as part of the overall $65 million mixed-use development. The project will include the 146-room boutique Angad Arts Hotel, a full-service restaurant, two 3,000-square-foot banquet rooms and separate meeting facilities, and a 150-vehicle parking lot.

“We are excited for Set the PACE St. Louis to play a significant role in the development and energy savings of an important and iconic structure in the Grand Center Arts District,” said Otis Williams, secretary of the City of St. Louis Clean Energy Development Board (CEDB), which provides oversight for the program. “This project will achieve millions in savings and create more than 1,200 well-paid, local construction jobs in addition to creating 170 ongoing jobs in the hospitality sector.”

The PACE-financed portion of the Missouri Theatre redevelopment is expected to achieve $659,527 in total cost savings in the first year through savings on energy and maintenance and operations expenses. Energy improvements include: insulation, windows, LED lighting, high efficiency heating and cooling, and building envelope measures. Total savings over the entire 20-year term of financing is expected to be $10,924,304, while eliminating an estimated 66,000 tons of carbon emissions.

“The redevelopment of the Missouri Theatre building has been in the works for some time and PACE-financing is a critical piece of the puzzle,” said Steve Smith, CEO of Lawrence Group, the project’s lead developer. “Because PACE-financing leverages 20 years of future savings and makes this amount available today, it acts like a capstone for the project’s entire capital stack and completes the financial picture. We are happy to utilize this excellent tool that the City provides and are considering its use on future projects as well.”

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MikeSet the PACE St. Louis Closes $10mm PACE Clean-energy Project in Grand Center Arts District

California Legislature Approves State Regulation and Enhanced Consumer Protections for Residential PACE

The California Legislature has passed two bills that will work in tandem to provide strong consumer protections and a regulatory framework for the state’s residential PACE programs. AB 1284, sponsored by Assembly Member Matt Dababneh, and SB 242, sponsored by Senator Nancy Skinner both passed with overwhelming bi-partisan support.

In less than 10 years, PACE has grown from a niche market option to the most successful energy financing program in California history. “Nearly $4 billion in upgrades shows that California homeowners embrace PACE as the best way to pay for improvements that make homes more comfortable, energy efficient and resilient against natural disasters,” said David Gabrielson, Executive Director of PACENation. “State regulation is an important next-step in the evolving PACE marketplace, and we are thrilled that the legislation provides a pathway to ensure the safety and protection of PACE consumers.”

Under AB 1284, the California Department of Business Oversight (DBO) will become the regulatory body for residential PACE administrators operating within the state. The legislation establishes licensing requirements for contractors, new underwriting guidelines that include income verification and ability-to-pay standards, and other consumer protection enhancements. “The leadership of Senator Skinner and Assemblyman Dababneh has evolved PACE into a long-term viable solution for homeowners, while providing a model for states across the nation to base PACE on income and ability-to-pay, and with a comprehensive suite of consumer protections and enforcement tools,” said JP McNeill, CEO of Renovate America.

SB 242 focuses squarely on standardizing best practice guidelines and disclosures for residential PACE administrators. The legislation requires that PACE administrators record a live phone call with customers to confirm agreement of terms, provides homeowners a 3-day right to cancel, and mandates reporting to public agencies. “Renew Financial is honored to stand with Assemblyman Dababneh and Senator Skinner, as well as the consumer advocates, business leaders and environmental organizations who worked so hard to strengthen PACE financing for California homeowners,” said Cisco DeVries, CEO of Renew Financial.

SB 242 was strongly supported by League of Conservation Voters California and Efficiency Demand Management Council – and both bills were strongly supported by Sierra Club California, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense Fund, Advanced Energy Economy, California Solar Energy Industries Association, Vote Solar, Climate Action Campaign, Brightline Defense, Build It Green, California Energy Storage Association, Center for Sustainable Energy, and Cleantech San Diego. In addition, a host of local government leaders and the California League of Cities and California State Association of Counties were on board.

PACENation is proud to have been a part of the industry-wide stakeholder coalition that worked for a year on the success of these bills. Negotiations between low-income consumer advocates, environmental groups, PACE program administrators, and the banking industry have resulted in California legislation that sets a regulatory precedent for R-PACE programs throughout the country. “Someday, I would like to see the money and energy saving benefits of PACE become available to every homeowner in the Country, and these bills put in place a framework to scale R-PACE safely and effectively,” said David Gabrielson, Executive Director of PACENation.

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MikeCalifornia Legislature Approves State Regulation and Enhanced Consumer Protections for Residential PACE

New York City Announces Legislation to Launch Commercial PACE Program

New York, NY, September 14 – Today, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced City Council legislation to authorize a PACE financing program for building retrofits.

A NYC PACE retrofit program can create a tremendous new market for energy efficiency and renewable energy since the City’s buildings are, on average, more than 50 years old and valued at over $1 trillion. With the Mayor’s announcement, the City will join a long list of major cities with successful PACE programs including Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C.

Jeff Tannenbaum, Chairman of the Board at PACENation, said “PACE is seeing continued strong bipartisan support because it requires no taxes or subsidies, is led at the local and state levels, has created tens of thousands of jobs, and helps property owners save money and make buildings healthier and safer.” Over the last several years, 14 Republican and 20 Democratic governors signed PACE bills into law.

To date, more than 160,000 home and building owners have used PACE to improve their properties with investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and more recently hurricane resistance measures, including in Florida where 8,000 homeowners have used PACE to make their properties more resilient while saving an estimated $7 million on their insurance premiums.   PACE financing is available in Houston and throughout the state of Florida to help finance the rebuilds from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

David Gabrielson, Executive Director at PACENation, said “It’s great to see that NYC will be launching a PACE program that will be a catalyst for tremendous job creation and economic activity.   I am also delighted that the Texas and Florida PACE programs can help lead the rebuild of the devastated areas and make our nation’s homes and buildings more resilient for future storm activity”.

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MikeNew York City Announces Legislation to Launch Commercial PACE Program

WRCOG Issues Statement on Wall Street Journal PACE Article

Read WRCOG‘s response to the Wall St. Journal below:

Riverside, CA – August 23, 2017 – The Western Riverside Council of Governments (WRCOG) is the largest bond issuer for Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, which provides financing to eligible property owners for energy efficiency, water conservation, and renewable energy upgrades. WRCOG serves as the government oversight agency for a series of PACE providers, including the nation’s largest, the HERO Program, as well as Samas Commercial, CaliforniaFIRST, and soon to launch PACE Funding and Spruce Finance. WRCOG’s PACE programs have helped thousands of property owners improve their homes, and have brought numerous economic and environmental benefits to Western Riverside County and the 371 jurisdictions that operate statewide under the California HERO Program.

On August 15 the Wall Street Journal published a story on PACE (“More Borrowers are Defaulting on their ‘Green’ PACE Loans”). WRCOG’s Executive Director, Rick Bishop, issued a statement in response to the article.

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MikeWRCOG Issues Statement on Wall Street Journal PACE Article

Detroit’s Whitney Mansion is Wayne County’s First PACE Project

Lean & Green Michigan and PETROS PACE Finance announced the closing of a $863,130 energy efficiency retrofit of the historical Whitney Building in Detroit. Read an excerpt below from Detroit’s Business Journal:

Source: DBusiness

The Whitney, a historical restaurant in Detroit for more than three decades, today announced participation in the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program. With the goal of increasing energy efficiency and improving the guest experience, The Whitney will invest more than $850,000 in new HVAC systems, lighting, windows, kitchen equipment, and building controls to replace systems that date back to 1986.

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MikeDetroit’s Whitney Mansion is Wayne County’s First PACE Project

PACENation responds to the August 15, 2017 Wall Street Journal story, “More Borrowers Are Defaulting on Their ‘Green’ PACE Loans”

Residential PACE has been the best financing solution for the roughly 160,000 homeowners who have used it for energy, water, and safety related projects that they wanted or needed to make; projects that made their homes more comfortable, healthier, safer, less expensive to heat and cool, and more valuable. State and local government partners also appreciate the tens of thousands of local jobs that R-PACE has helped create and sustain. PACE financing for commercial, industrial, agricultural and non-profit owned properties is now available widely throughout the United States, a success story the Journal has ignored.

There is a great story to tell. But instead, the Wall Street Journal, yesterday, ran another in a series of misleading stories about PACE. Yesterday’s, again, includes many ill drawn conclusions and seems to reflect the author’s clear bias for sensationalism.

There is simply no evidence to suggest that PACE is a looming crisis for the banking industry or homeowners.  None.  Zero. There is no data to suggest that PACE homes are delinquent or likely to default at rates higher than those for the broader housing market in PACE served communities. With more than 60,000 new homes using PACE over the previous year, it is not surprising that the number of defaults has increased. But there is absolutely no indication that the PACE assessment has been the direct cause of the delinquencies or defaults in any but the tiny number of anecdotal cases that the Journal has reported on.

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MikePACENation responds to the August 15, 2017 Wall Street Journal story, “More Borrowers Are Defaulting on Their ‘Green’ PACE Loans”

CleanFund launches in Colorado, bringing a new source of direct capital for commercial clean energy projects across the state

Source: CleanFund.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — CleanFund Commercial PACE Capital, Inc. (www.CleanFund.com), the leading direct provider of commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (“C-PACE”) financing, announced today that they have completed their first transaction in Colorado, opening up a new source of capital to finance energy efficiency, solar energy and many other building improvements throughout the state.

CleanFund provides capital to finance up to 100% of project’s cost using the C-PACE framework, which has been adopted in 33 states and the District of Columbia. This allows property owners to repay investments for qualified building upgrades and new construction as a line item on their regular property tax bills.

In Colorado, much of the demand for sustainable buildings comes from building owners and their tenants. Developers know that “green buildings” drive higher rents and economic growth; however, the traditional lending market has been unable to keep pace with these demands. CleanFund’s PACEDirect™ financing product now available in Colorado enables local owners and developers to have access to fixed rate, long-term, non-recourse capital that can transfer to the new owners when the building is sold.

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MikeCleanFund launches in Colorado, bringing a new source of direct capital for commercial clean energy projects across the state