Earlier this year, the Waukesha County Board of Supervisors voted to approve participation in the PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) program. PACE enables property owners to obtain low-cost, long-term loans for energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation improvements.
PACE authorizes municipalities and counties to work with private sector lenders to provide upfront financing—usually for 100 percent of the cost of improvements—to property owners for qualified projects.
Like property taxes, PACE financings may be transferred to the next property owner if the property is sold. The remaining balance of the PACE financing is repaid by the subsequent owner, who continues to receive the benefits of the improvements from the project.
Eligible properties include commercial, multifamily (5+ units), warehousing, hospitals, industrial, manufacturing, non-profit and hospitality.
PACE financing can be used to fund a number of energy-saving upgrades, such as efficient lighting systems, heating and cooling systems, insulation, motors, low-flow fixtures, windows and water pumps. Solar panels and other renewable technologies that produce energy are also eligible for PACE financing.
Projects financed using PACE can generate positive cash flow upon completion with no up-front, out-of-pocket cost to property owners—eliminating the financial barriers that typically prevent investment in revitalizing aging properties.
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