Fairborn joining PACE program to add to economic development toolbox

The city of Fairborn recently “declared its intent to participate in the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program” as another incentive to attract businesses and jobs, the Dayton Daily News reports. Assistant City Manager Mike Gebhart said there are already “businesses interested in taking advantage” of the loan program that “finances up to 100% of energy efficient construction or remodeling for commercial and industrial property owners,” according to the article. Fairborn has not yet identified a specific project for the program, but once it has, the city will establish an Energy Special Improvement District (ESID) to make PACE financing available. For more, read the full article.  

Economic Development, Energy Efficiency, Project Finance, State Updates

Bricker & Eckler partners with Ohio advancement groups to host economic development seminars

Bricker & Eckler is partnering with APEG, JobsOhio and OEDA, with assistance from Buckeye Hills Regional Council, Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission, Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association and Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, to offer two economic development training events: October 25 in Piketon, Ohio, and November 20 in Cambridge, Ohio. These events, titled ED NOW!, will empower participants to guide their communities’ futures with cutting edge economic development insights and strategies. For more information, visit the event page

Economic Development, Energy Efficiency, Project Finance

Sidney approves city-wide ESID district

Sidney City Council members passed a resolution establishing a city-wide energy special improvement district (ESID), making commercial buildings within the city eligible for the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, the Sidney Daily News reports. PACE “is a flexible financing tool to help commercial building owners pay for energy efficient building improvements with no money out of pocket,” the article reports. Michael Katz of Bricker & Eckler LLP answered council members’ questions about PACE, and “outlined the duties, composition and function of the [ESID] board.” Katz noted “the current district would apply to commercial, industrial and multi-family properties,” and that a residential PACE program could “soon be available in Ohio.” For more, read the full article.

Energy Efficiency, Project Finance, State Updates

Lucas County PACE program benefits homeowners

The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority’s pilot program to expand Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing to homeowners has “brokered more than $400,000 in loans to 39 dwellings,” The Toledo Blade reports. Elana Echols used the program to finance a new, energy-efficient furnace, and “said the lower energy bills she paid during the winter offset the higher amount on her property tax,” according to the article. Port authority leaders “are now working to expand the residential PACE program to a statewide initiative.” Columbus, Cleveland, Toledo, Akron and Canton have already signed on to participate. Paul Toth, outgoing president and CEO of the port authority, “said he believes the full program will be up and running by the end of the year.” For more, read the full article.

Energy Efficiency, Project Finance, State Updates

The City of Shelby approves new 2.5 MW solar system

On August 5, 2019, the City of Shelby passed legislation to construct a solar energy project that was more than two years in the making. Shelby entered into a series of agreements with AEP OnSite Partners, LLC for a 2.5 MW solar array which will be located on 14 acres of property. The power produced by the solar facility will serve 3 percent to 4 percent of the City’s overall load. The solar facility will also help the City shave energy during peak periods. John Ensman, the City's director of utilities, highlighted the benefits of adding solar generation to the City’s electric system. "The benefits of having solar behind our meter is the effect of having a generator behind the meter," Ensman said. "It's another source of energy sitting there to help reduce the cost of energy for the community of Shelby. The realized rate is phenomenal when you start factoring in the savings you have for capacity and transmission; that's where the true cost savings come into play." It is estimated that solar facility will result in approximately $3 million in savings over the next 10 years as part of the project agreement. If all goes to plan, the solar field will be operational by mid-December 2019. For more, read the full article.

Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, State Updates

Green joins Akron-Summit County ESID

Local businesses in the City of Green will have access to grant funding for energy improvements, now that the city has entered into the Akron-Summit County Energy Special Improvement District (ESID), CantonRep.com reports. Councilman and intergovernmental and utilities committee chair Stephan Dyer said joining the ESID will allow businesses to apply for the funding for projects such as energy efficient lighting or roofing upgrades. Additionally, Summit County will be able to finance a light bulb replacement project for a county property in Green. For more, read the full article.

 

Energy Efficiency, Project Finance, State Updates

Brooklyn uses NOPEC grants for two LED lighting upgrade projects

The City of Brooklyn is using grants from the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) to fund two LED lighting upgrade projects, creating energy cost savings, Cleveland.com reports. Mayor Katie Gallagher said $39,000 from a 2017 NOPEC award is being used to upgrade street pole lighting on its main thoroughfares, involving 187 lights. Additionally, a 2018 $37,000 award will be put toward a “$50,000 lighting upgrade taking place at the John M. Coyne Recreation Center,” according to the article. That project will include “rec center lights, outdoor lighting in the rec center and pavilion lights in the parks.” Gallagher said projects such as these that reduce costs benefit the residents of Brooklyn “because then we can reallocate those savings to something else that they see directly in other services.” For more, read the full article.

Energy Efficiency, Project Finance, State Updates

Bell featured on Debtwire: PACE financing likely to expand as a result of regulation, securitization

Issued by local government entities, PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) bonds allow residential or commercial property owners to finance energy improvement upgrades to their properties. Bonds may be issued and sold directly to the property owner, to a third-party lender, or to institutional investors. Until recently, as Bricker’s Public Finance Chair Caleb Bell notes in a recent article on Acuris’ Debtwire, PACE bonds have been mostly unregulated with only state and local legal requirements. In California, where stricter lending standards are taking shape, Bell notes, “those protections broaden into the actual ability of the homeowner to repay the loan,” resulting in a “much more solid product.” Bell adds that securitizations are becoming increasingly common in this sector and that commercial PACE financing is “becoming its own unique asset class.” These new developments in standardization and regulation are likely to increase the popularity of PACE bonds with investors.

Economic Development, Energy Efficiency, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Ohio plans to become fourth state to offer residential PACE financing

Joining California, Florida and Missouri, Ohio will soon be the fourth state to offer residential PACE (property assessed clean energy) programs. The City of Bexley in Franklin County and the City of Toledo in Lucas County have authorized agreements with the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority to offer residential PACE (RPACE), allowing homeowners in those cities access to low-interest loans for energy efficiency improvements. Summit County will make RPACE financing available to homeowners in communities that have joined the Akron-Summit County Energy Special Improvement District (ESID), Cleveland.com reports. Homeowners who “are making energy efficiency improvements” to “HVAC, furnace, roofing, windows and doors, insulation” and other systems “can finance the up-front costs and then pay back the loans through a voluntary assessment” on their property tax bill, according to the article. Residential PACE is expected to roll out statewide by the end of 2019. For more on Summit County RPACE financing, read the full article.

Energy Efficiency, Project Finance, State Updates

Delphos kicks off Energy District with city project

Businesses, government, healthcare, and educational facilities in Delphos have access to Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing now that the city is an Energy District, the Delphos Herald reports. Safety Service Director Shane Coleman “signed the paperwork for an $8,000 loan . . . for an energy-efficient lighting project at the water treatment plant,” kicking off the Energy District, according to the article. The district is sponsored by “the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority through its Betterbuildings Northwest Ohio [BBNWO]”; financing will come from the BBNWO’s PACE program. Eligible projects include upgrades to energy efficiency for lighting, HVAC, and refrigeration, among others. For more, read the full article.

Energy Efficiency, Financial Incentives, Project Finance, State Updates
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