PACE in Florida


Florida passed PACE-enabling legislation in 2010 and there are five active programs operating in the state — all of which offer commercial financing, and two that offer residential financing.  After resolving a FL Supreme Court case regarding PACE bond validation, residential and commercial PACE is flourishing in the state.

Active PACE programs

1466123363_tick_16 Residential           1466123363_tick_16 Commercial

Ygrene clean energy corridor PACE florida

Ygrene Energy Fund is the lead program of the Clean Energy Green Corridor District. Initiated by the Town of Cutler Bay, the District to date includes Miami, South Miami, Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay, and Miami Shores, and more communities that total over 650,000 people. The Green Corridor District offers both commercial and residential PACE financing.

Ygrene Energy Fund uses a turnkey approach that provides administration, financing, contracting, and a range of assurances and performance guarantees to participating governments.

In Miami-Dade, Ygrene uses a comprehensive marketing strategy that involves broad outreach to local stakeholders through workshops, newsletters, and presentations. In every clean energy district Ygrene establishes an Energy Center to showcase new equipment and technology, offer assistance and resources to local property owners, and undertake contractor recruitment, training and certification. Building on the experience of the Sonoma County Energy Independence program, Ygrene developed its direct advertising efforts consisting of media ads, direct mailing, and community events to better reach local property owners. Overall, Ygrene puts emphasis on creating localized programs at a District level.

As for energy audits, Green Corridor uses home evaluation software tool to prioritize improvements and calculate the SIR (savings to investment ratio). Water conservation and wind hazard abatement projects could be offered to Green Corridor participating municipalities that choose to include these measures when they join. Green Corridor does not require consent from existing mortgage lenders, relying on Florida’s enabling statute requirements for notice only.

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1466123363_tick_16 Residential           1466123363_tick_16 Commercial

FL PACE evest funding agencyThe Florida PACE Funding Agency (Agency) garnered plenty of attention when it received statewide judicial bond validation for up to $2 billion. Kissimmee and Flagler County are the original incorporators of the Agency to which other local governments may “subscribe” through a simple Interlocal agreement. Under authority established by Section 163.01, Florida Statutes, the Agency provides Florida municipalities a no risk, no cost, turn-key PACE solution.

The Agency:

Is a special purpose local government subject to Sunshine Law; Is governed by elected officials who understand what’s important to local governments; Is already judicially validated statewide to issue up $2 billion of bonds; Has $200 million of immediately available financing; Is able to immediately commence its turn-key PACE program upon signing of an Interlocal agreement with the Agency; Assures local governments that there is no cost or liability through its judicial validation; Is an open model allowing Counties to have multiple PACE Program providers for purposes of expanded program options for Property Owners and for price control; Provides financing for both residential and commercial property owners, and Complies with statutory lender notification and does not require lender consent.

Leidos (formerly SAIC Energy, Environment & Infrastructure LLC) was selected through competitive procurement to be the Agency’s Third Party Administrator. The Agency completed its first financing commitment of $200 million in March, 2014.  The $200 million is immediately available to fund qualifying improvements in subscribed local governments.  The Florida PACE Funding Agency has now subscribed the following Counties: Flagler, Nassau, Gadsden, Jefferson, Gulf, Walton and Clay; and Cities: Kissimmee and Tamarac.

The judgment of the Florida Circuit Court of Leon County on validation is binding on all parties in Florida, and it provides a judicial finality to the question of whether a local government has the authority to impose its PACE assessments. Judicial validation also ensures protection from all program liability to subscribing local governments.

The $2 billion funding target may be achieved if just five percent (5%) of 20-year-old residential and commercial buildings in the state participate in the program at an average improvement amount of $15,000. Validation of the Florida PACE Funding Agency’s program does not extend to the Green Corridor or Florida Green Energy Works programs, which will have to seek validation of their individual programs. The Agency offers PACE financing for qualifying energy efficiency, renewable generation and wind resistance improvements to both residential and commercial properties. The Agency will base its requirements on Florida law that does not require consent from existing mortgage lenders for projects that represent less than 20% of the property’s Just Market Value (Florida law does require consent for projects in excess of 20%). The Agency will follow Florida Statutes (s. 163.08) and provide a 30-day notice to existing lenders in order to accommodate adjustment of monthly property tax/insurance/escrow payments.The Agency will encourage interested property owners to obtain an energy audit through authorized energy auditors, but an energy audit is not required. Each project is validated by the Third Party Administrator to ensure project costs and savings estimates are reasonable.

Contact Person: For more information, please contact Jonathan Schaefer, Program Manager with Leidos Engineering, Third Party Administrator for the Florida PACE Funding Agency via email: [email protected]

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 Residential           1466123363_tick_16 Commercial

FL Green Energy WorksFlorida Green Energy Works is administered by Renew Financial, a California-based PACE provider that recently acquired the program’s previous administrator, EcoCity Partners. The Towns of Lantana and Mangonia Park, both in Palm Beach County, recently joined to incorporate the Florida Green Finance Authority, the “separate legal entity” which any municipality or local government in Florida can join by interlocal agreement to scale the consortium. While the program is equipped to offer both residential and commercial financing, at this point, residential funding is not being offered, due to the uncertainty created by the FHFA.

The program uses the “owner-arranged/open market” funding model and requires commercial property owners to provide notice and receive consent for the PACE assessment from their existing mortgage lender. When consent is obtained for a project, any market-based financing could be obtained. In other words, property owners can use any lender/ funding source, which open market advocates believe will induce competition and ultimately result in lower interest rates and closing costs. Renew Financial is working with property owners and providers of funding to match the need with supply.

Wind hazard abatement and water efficiency measures are an integral component of the program that will be available for local governments joining Florida Green Energy Works Program. Erin Deady, a lawyer active in developing Florida Green Energy Works and working with Leon County on the FHFA federal litigation, identifies the significant amount of data showing the linkage between water and energy efficiency improvements as justification for using PACE.

Florida Green Energy Works requires an energy savings audit completed by a qualified energy auditor or a certified building energy rater. At a minimum, this audit will include the following information:

Recommendations for energy savings measures; Estimated energy savings and a priority ranking for each measure; Estimated renewable energy to be produced; Estimated greenhouse gas reductions; and Estimated cost savings resulting from the implementation of the recommendations and use of funds made available by the District. A web-based platform will collect and make data related to projects’ energy savings and environmental impacts (carbon reductions) readily available to the public.

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 Residential           1466123363_tick_16 Commercial

Leon County created Leon County Energy Improvement District in April, 2012 by passing an ordinance at the meetings of Board of County Commissioners. Leon County held a Board meeting on October 23, 2012 to determine whether the County is moving forward with RFP for a third-party administrator.

Program Documents: Leon County Board of Commissioners Agenda, December 23, 2012.

 Residential           1466123363_tick_16 Commercial

Solar Energy Loan Fund or SELF is a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and a national award-winning non-profit, 501(c) (3) corporation. SELF administers St. Lucie County’s Commercial PACE program. To date, the County has completed all of the necessary approvals for the PACE program. SELF also partnered with the Florida Green Energy Works program to establish additional Commercial PACE programs in the state.

Program Documents: SELF Program Handbook, SELF PACE Application. Contact Information: Doug Coward, Executive Director Phone: (772) 468-1818

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PACE Municipalities in Florida

Enabling legislation

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