New Jersey PACE: A New Economic Development Opportunity for Atlantic City

Hosts: New Jersey PACE and The Warwick

When: Thursday, September 4, at 5 p.m.

Where: The Warwick Condominium, S RichmondAve, Atlantic City, NJ 08401

RSVP:  Victoria Zelin vzelin@newjerseypace.org or  908-­‐507-­‐3150 / 908-­‐581-­‐8418

About the event:

The Warwick, a 275-­‐unit luxury condominium on the Boardwalk, is planning to arrange New Jersey PACE financing for the replacement of their building energy systems with modern and more efficient units, a roughly $2 million project. In addition, under new legislation which is anticipated for approval this fall, the NJPACE program may be able to extend this financing to include major resiliency improvements for the building, which are estimated to cost another $7 million.

This is just one example of the kind of private investment that NJPACE can bring to Atlantic City.

With the largest concentration of commercial property in the State, the City is in a unique position to witness a boom in clean energy and resiliency financing over the coming decade, as part of its renaissance and rebranding as the high-­‐end resort destination of the New Jersey Shore. Becoming the first major city in New Jersey to implement PACE could strengthen the City’s historic role in “embracing green initiatives and standing at the forefront of the environmental movement,” to quote the former president of the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority.

To learn more: download official Press Advisory from NJPACE

A Texas PACE First: Keeping PACE in the Valley!

The board of directors of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council (LRGVDC) voted yesterday to become the PACE administrator for Cameron, Hidalgo, and Willacy counties. The LRGVDC staff will assist the counties in adopting the resolutions required by the Property Assessed Clean Energy Act adopted by the 83rd legislature. Read more.

Solar financing program PACE is back, but feds are still wary.

Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 4:51 pm

Monterey County recently announced the launch of the CaliforniaFIRST residential PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) program, which allows homeowners to finance energy-efficient home improvements through private loans paid off as line items on their property tax bills. The Board of Supervisors heard an update on the program July 29.

Advocates say the program could provide easier access to funding for home efficiency upgrades, particularly solar panels. Regulators, however, remain concerned the lending practices are not strict enough, and that the loans could cause problems for borrowers and mortgage lenders.

Monterey County first approved participation in the program in 2010. But shortly after approval, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (the agency that oversees mortgage securitzers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) issued a statement effectively halting the program. Read more.

Lean & Green’s first project keeps PACE with national trends

Ari Kresch, CEO of 1-800-LAW-FIRM, likes to brag that his Southfield company is the first in the country to use its phone number as its actual name.

Perhaps more significantly, though, he may be the first attorney in the country to use an innovative, new financing mechanism called PACE, which stands for property assessed clean energy, to make major, money-saving, clean-energy upgrades to his building.

The roof of Kresch’s 1-800-LAW-FIRM building, near the busy intersection of I-696 and the Lodge Freeway, is now covered with brand-new solar panels. Four small wind turbines are on their way, and his parking lot will soon boast a solarized carport and electric-vehicle charging stations along with newly installed high-efficiency lighting.

Yet Kresch did not front a dime of his own money on the $540,000 project, managed by Novi-based solar installer Srinergy, and likely never will: His financing is so favorable that when the panels and turbines finally spark up and cut his monthly $6,000 electric bills in half, those savings will more than cover his loan payments.

Michigan’s PACE law is what makes his loan so easy. It was enacted in 2010; Southfield adopted its own ordinance, based on the law, in July 2012. Since then, two other cities and seven counties have adopted the identical ordinance.

Dubbed Lean & Green Michigan by its author, the ordinance allows businesses to borrow from a private lender, but repay it via special assessments on their local property taxes.

Making the private loan into a property tax obligation greatly reduces the risk of default, motivating lenders to grant longer terms with smaller monthly notes. Kresch’s PACE loan is for 20 years, rather than the three to five years typical of commercial financing, so his savings more than cover loan payments.

PACE is now approved in 31 states and Washington, D.C., and depending on how ordinances are written, can use bonds or private financing. It aims to boost business’s profits without tying up their capital, put contractors to work on efficiency and renewable energy projects, and curb climate- and health-damaging emissions.

Kresch said he could do the project without PACE, but wants to spotlight the financial opportunity it offers Michigan. Read more.

You’re Invited: Vote Solar’s Equinox East – 9/18 in BKLYN

Equinox East

When: Thursday, September 18, 6-10 PM
Where: The DUMBO Loft – 155 Water St, Brooklyn
What: Harvest fare, bar, and fun.
As a special treat, Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy & Finance for New York State will be joining in the celebration. We hope you will too.

Buy Tickets Here

California may think it’s all-that-and-a-bag-of-sunchips, but frankly, some of the most interesting things in the solar world are happening on the East Coast.  New York made an historic commitment to develop ten times more solar and is now fundamentally re-imagining its grid to empower customer participation. Massachusetts met its 250 MW solar goal four years early, and promptly upped the ante more than SIX TIMES to 1,600 MW. Connecticut is looking to expand solar access to renters and others through shared solar. New Jersey is a perennial top contender.  And even Georgia is defying the coal-state narrative by embracing 900 MW of solar by 2016, all below the cost of buying new fossil generation. Our East Coast team is working from Vermont to Florida to keep making solar more accessible and more affordable. In addition to being a ton of fun, Equinox East will support our continued progress.

Royal Oak Sets The “PACE” For Green Development

After a unanimous vote by the Royal Oak City Commission on August 18, 2014, Royal Oak is the latest municipality to establish a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program in the State of Michigan.

PACE is an innovative way to help Royal Oak businesses save money, create jobs, grow the tax base and promote environmental sustainability, all at no cost to Royal Oak taxpayers. Under the program, commercial building owners may voluntarily assume a special assessment on their property tax bill to finance energy efficiency, water efficiency, and renewable energy projects.

“PACE is an incredible tool that has been sweeping across the country, and now it is available to businesses in Royal Oak,” said Todd Fenton, the city’s Economic Development Manager. “It promotes environmentally friendly development, saves property owners money, and creates jobs for Michigan contractors, construction workers, and manufacturers of clean energy products, all without a dime of taxpayer money.”

The program will be administered by Lean and Green Michigan, which has established a statewide marketplace for PACE financing since 2012, and currently administers the PACE Programs in Wayne, Washtenaw and Macomb Counties, as well as the Cities of Southfield and Rochester Hills, among others.

“Royal Oak has long been a special driver of economic development in the region, so we are especially excited that the city has become the 10th local government to create a PACE district by joining Lean & Green Michigan,” said Andy Levin, President of Lean and Green Michigan. “Given the city’s economic vitality, I feel that many businesses in the city will be able to take advantage of PACE financing to make clean energy upgrades.” Read more.

St. Lucie County launches commercial PACE program

Doug Coward
8:57 AM, Aug 18, 2014

FORT PIERCE — The St. Lucie Board of County Commissioners and the non-profit Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF) are pleased to announce the creation of a new Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program in St. Lucie County. The local program was customized over the last several years and the parties recently secured a substantial line of credit from an affiliate of Inland Green Capital, LLC. St. Lucie County’s new PACE program will provide upfront financing to commercial, industrial, non-profit and multi-family property owners for energy efficiency, renewable energy, wind hazard mitigation and water conservation projects.

The voluntary PACE program involves land-secured assessments that stay with the property and mirror similar repayment procedures for street lighting districts, water and sewer connections, storm water and infrastructure projects, and other neighborhood improvements. The new PACE program simply expands these alternative financing options into the energy, water, wind hazard mitigation and sustainability sectors.

PACE financing is not a personal or business loan, but rather a voluntary non-ad valorem assessment that is paid off over time as a part of the annual property tax bill. To be eligible for PACE financing, property owners must have equity in their property and must be current on all local taxes over the previous three years. PACE financing is available on 5, 10, 15, and 20-year terms, with very reasonable fixed interest rates. Read more.

PACE program available in South Lake Tahoe

A new clean energy program is available to commercial properties in South Lake Tahoe to improve the energy and water efficiency of their properties.

The Property Assessed Clean Energy financing model allows property owners to borrow money, usually on a 20-year term, and repay it with a special property tax assessment that won’t require a cash down payment or inhibit the businesses’ ability to borrow money for operations in the future.

South Lake Tahoe’s council members approved the PACE program in June and are partnering with Figtree Financial, a San Diego-based firm that will market the program and offer private funding to pay for the property improvements.

Property Assessed Clean Energy financing allows up to 20 percent of a property’s value to be financed for energy efficiency, renewable energy or water conservation upgrades. The financing creates an assessment lien on the property and is repaid with semi-annual installments on the property tax bill.

Property owners can find out if they qualify by going online to www.figtreefinancing.com or by contacting Ryan Ahearn, Figtree Financing, vice president of marketing, at 858-771-0896 or rahearn@figtreefinancing.com.

Ygrene Raises $30 Million, Appoints Former Citibank and CIT Executive As Chief Operating Officer

SANTA ROSA, Calif. – August 13, 2014 - Ygrene Energy Fund, a leading national provider of residential and commercial property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing, announced today it raised $30 million in growth capital from Virgo Investment Group.  Ygrene will use the funds to grow its channel contractor network, further expand its national footprint, and accelerate market awareness for PACE financing.  The company appointed Mike Cary, former President of CIT Home Lending, as COO to immediately execute on its growth initiatives.  Ygrene partners with local governments to provide PACE financing to property owners to make energy upgrades to their homes or buildings.  Ygrene’s 100% financing allows owners to finance improvements at lower monthly costs and with many tax advantages not available through traditional financing options.

 

“The Virgo investment demonstrates the power of our financing platform and confidence in Ygrene to further secure our leadership position in the rapidly growing PACE financing industry,” said Stacey Lawson, Ygrene President and CEO.  “PACE financing is gaining broader market adoption every day.  Virgo’s capital will allow Ygrene to meet the increasing demand from contractors and property owners, scale our operations and expand our footprint into more cities and counties across California and Florida.”

 

“Ygrene is unique in that it has been successful with both residential and commercial PACE financings, and is the only company that has funded projects in multiple states,” said Virgo partner Mack McNair, who leads Virgo’s financial services investments.  “Ygrene has a large addressable market opportunity and is filled with the talent and energy to expand origination the right way.  We’re excited to join the board and leverage our ideas and network in the financial services sector to accelerate that growth plan.”

 

Mike Cary, a seasoned executive with 30 years of experience scaling companies with Citibank, First Nationwide Mortgage, and CIT Group, was brought on as COO, a newly created position, to immediately scale Ygrene’s operations.

 

“Mike Cary is a force,” Lawson said, adding “He took CIT from $200 million to $550 million in originations in 18 months.  That and his 30 years of experience in the real estate, mortgage and finance industries signaled to me immediately that he’s the right person to rapidly expand Ygrene’s offerings.”

 

Cary will manage Ygrene’s marketing, origination, underwriting and funding operations and report directly to Lawson.

 

Ygrene financing is commonly used to fund commercial and residential property improvements including cool roofing and insulation, energy efficient windows, high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, solar photo-voltaic and hot water systems, and net-zero landscaping.  The program offers financing with a minimum project size of $2,500 with no upper limit on project size.

 

Ygrene currently partners with 100+ cities and counties in California and Florida, and has funded tens of millions in residential and commercial property upgrades, including the $3.1M Metro Center renovation in Sacramento CA that was the nation’s largest PACE project at the time.

 

About Ygrene Energy Fund, Inc.

Ygrene Energy Fund is the leading developer and administrator of clean energy financing programs throughout the United States. Ygrene’s fully funded Clean Energy Programs provide privately funded and immediately accessible financing for renewable and energy efficiency upgrades to both commercial and residential property owners at no upfront costs. Over the next five years, Ygrene’s Clean Energy Districts are projected to create tens of thousands of local jobs and invest hundreds of millions into local economies. Learn more at ygrene.us.

 

About Virgo Investment Group LLC

Virgo is an opportunistic, value investor.  Virgo invests in market dislocations and areas of corporate change targeting both less efficient market segments and identified themes (or “market seams”) in the firm’s core industries.  A theme-based approach to idea generation coupled with proactive sourcing, a flexible mandate and creative transaction structuring skills, allows the firm to create differentiated opportunities and optimize risk-adjusted returns across market investment cycles.  Virgo is an actively engaged investor that seeks to contribute ideas and human capital to the harvesting of value post-investment and has a successful history of partnering with founder entrepreneurs and family-owned companies to support their growth initiatives.

Founded in 2009, Virgo has invested over $588 million, completing 34 investments to date.  Virgo has generated average annual net returns of 20% on realized investments from its inception through March 31, 2014.

Media Contact:

John Geyer

650.388.0778

john.geyer@ygrene.us

 

PACE in MN: New commercial PACE project

WORTHINGTON, Minn. — New light will be shed on Blue Line Travel Center in Worthington thanks to a retrofitting project through the PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) program. The $75,000 project will outfit the site with new lighting to replace the current LED lighting on the property’s facade.

U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., a long-time supporter of energy retrofits and the PACE program, was on hand Thursday morning to congratulate Blue Line Travel Center owners Larry and Deb Potter, Worthington and the southwest region of the state for moving toward cleaner energy.

PACE allows business owners to finance clean energy improvements without having the up-front out-of-pocket expense associated with them. The energy savings will offset the payments 100 percent, often allowing the business to realize an immediate improvement in the bottom line.

Larry Potter said he decided to retrofit the truck stop after a seminar hosted by the Rural Minnesota Energy Board regarding PACE. See more.

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