City helps business owners go green through PACE

Posted October 22, 2013 at 11:00 pm

Northeast News
October 23, 2013

Commercial property owners wanting to go green will now be able to receive financial assistance through the city of Kansas City, Mo.

During an Oct. 17 Kansas City City Council meeting, council members voted to join the Missouri Clean Energy District, which will provide the city with access to a statewide Property Assessed Clean Energy program (PACE).

“This is an exciting opportunity for Kansas City to take the lead in providing access to PACE funding, which will allow people to finance renewable energy and energy efficiency projects for commercial properties on favorable terms,” said City Council member John Sharp, a sponsor of the ordinance authorizing district membership.

The PACE program is voluntary and provides 100 percent of upfront costs for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for commercial properties. Participating property owners may have up to 20 years to repay these costs through a special property tax assessment. This removes a number of barriers to property owners interested in upgrading their business property who want to avoid debt and may not be able to afford the upfront costs or are uncertain of how long they will remain on the property.

“Through this action, property owners who wish to upgrade their facility by making it energy efficient will have access to capital, which is at times difficult to obtain given current market conditions,” said City Council member Scott Wagner, another sponsor of the ordinance. “We hope that commercial building owners in Kansas City will find PACE financing to be a viable means for reducing their energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions, while also creating jobs for small, local businesses who can conduct energy audits, make energy efficiency improvements to buildings, and install renewable energy systems.” 

Money provided through the Missouri Clean Energy District is virtually unlimited for qualifying projects and pays for upfront costs of the improvements. Repayment is made from savings resulting from reduced energy use. Because the property improvement is repaid through a special property tax assessment, the repayment is an obligation of the current property owner. This means the repayment obligation stays with the property and not the individual who initiated the property improvement.

The Missouri Clean Energy District is a separate political body from the municipalities that participate in the energy improvement financing program. Neither the state nor the city is liable for the bonds issued by the district to fund projects.

Applications to participate in the program are available at www.mced.mo.gov. The PACE program is governed by the Missouri Clean Energy District, a newly-created Clean Energy Development Board.

For more information about participating in this program, please visit www.mced.mo.gov or contact David Pickerill, Missouri Clean Energy District administrator, at dpickerill@mced.mo.gov.